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Full text of "The civil and political history of the state of Tennessee from its earliest settlement up to the year 1796, including the boundaries of the state"

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State of Tennessee 

Earliest Settlement up to the Year 1796, 





With a Biographical Sketch of Judge John Haywood 


Printed for "W. H. Haywood. 

Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Soxn?H. 

Barbee & Smith, Agents, Nashville, Tenn. 


^ APR ^ 
Jk 18S3 ,-.V/ 





I S FEB 14 
iCojyj L 'i;.j 








In presenting at this time to Tennesseeans Judge Haywood's Civil and 
Political History, patriotism and a natural love for the memory of the author 
are the motives that actuate me. Judge Haywood wrote that the illustrious 
deeds of our ancestors might not be forgotten; that we may "have domestic 
examples to imitate, to gratify the honest pride of the people in the fame 
of their country, to keep them in mind of the obligations they are under to 
maintain its glory undiminished, to supply them with standards of patriotism 
which they may endeavor to exceed and which they must not fall below ; " 
that the sons and daughters of the "Volunteer State" may know from 
whence sprung that indomitable race who poured their blood as a libation 
upon the altar of their country and left their bones to bleach upon every 
battle-field in the war between the States. Looking upon the pages of his- 
tory chronicled since their time, I say with gratification and pride that the 
pioneer fathers and mothers of the grand old State have not failed to trans- 
mit their shining virtues to posterity. I submit to the patronage of the peo- 
ple, without elimination or addition, an exact reprint of Judge Haywood's 
History, with the fullest confidence in their patriotism and the merits of 
the book. William H. Haywood. 

Brownsville, Tenn., November 22, 1890. 



In almost every State of the Union some grateful conntryman has cele- 
brated in the historic page the wortliies it has produced and the illustrious 
deeds it has performed under their conduct. This has been done for the 
benefit of posterity, that they may have domestic examples to imitate; to 
gratify the honest pride of the people in the fame of their country; to keep 
tliem in mind of the obligations they are under to maintain its glory un- 
diminished, and to supply them with standards of patriotism which they 
may endeavor to exceed if they can, and which they must not fall below. 
But no one has yet attempted to record the memorable achievements of the 
eminent men of Tennessee. According to the sphere in which they have 
acted and the means placed within their reach, they have deserved from their 
country their lasting remembrance, their highest gratitude, and their most 
ardent affection. Already the time has come when to many of our inhabit- 
ants their names are but just known, while in the memories of others their 
actions are fading away. Ought not their names and their exploits to be res- 
cued from the obliteration of time and the tomb of silence? Shall their illus- 
trious deeds be erased from the recollections of succeeding generations, or 
be preserved only in the indistinct memorials of oral tradition? And shall 
posterity be left unacquainted with the examples which they have given to 
stimulate hereafter to glorious enterprises? If their splendid achievements 
cannot be transmitted to after ages in the rich dress they deserve, still it is 
better to perpetuate them in the most simple form than to let them wholly 
be forgotten. Such are the motives whicli have impelled the author to under- 
take this work. "Without the aflectation of modesty, but in true sincerity, he 
knows himself unequal to the task, but his hope and expectation is that of the 
materials which he has ♦now collected and recorded some future historian 
may avail himself and be enabled to represent the historical occurrences of 
the periods embraced in this volume in a style of elegance suited to the high 
merit of the actors. Let no one censure his motives, for they are pure. There 
will indeed be much room to blame the defective performance of the author, 
but this he will hear with the greatest pleasure if the person dissatisfied will, 
for the benefit of his country, either produce a more perfect work or contrib- 
ute to the amendment of this. The Author. 


Mr. W. H. Haywood— My Dear Sir: You ask me to write a sketch of your 
grandfather (Judge John Haywood) to accompany the new edition of his 
" History of Tennessee," which I understand is now in press. A mere sketch 
of Judge Haywood — and nothing else can now be attempted — as a preface to 
the forth-coming volume, is not what the present generation of Tennesseeans 
is entitled to. This book ought to be reprinted along with an accompanying 
volume of the life of that eminent man. And I sincerely trust some one 
competent to do the work will collect the material and give to the public a 
detailed history of all the incidents of his public life, commencing in 1790 
and ending in 1826, and at the same time — and what would be equally in- 
teresting—a sketch of his family, of his early life, his education and train- 
ing, his person and personal habits, his wonderful powers as an advocate, 
his laborious and untiring work as a judge, together with anecdotes and in- 
cidents which illustrate his character. 

As an advocate history — true history— will place him as the only peer of 
Felix Grundy; and as a judge, a man who, like Marshall, knew law intui- 
tively as well as from books, and who had the courage and ability to blaze 
the way. As Judge John ]\I. Lea said to me in a conversation about him, 
"He was the Lord Mansfield of the South-wc.-t." 

His father, Egbert Haywood, was a gallant officer in the Revolution; and 
the son, who was born in Halifax County, N. C-, in 1753, studied law when 
young; and though a rebel as his father was, there is no evidence that he 
took any active part in the war, though tradition says he was on the staff 
(and courageously did his duty) of a North Carolina officer. 

Any thing like a full sketch of Judge Haywood's public life, leaving all 
personal matters out, would carry me far beyond the space set apart in 
your new edition. He Avas Attorney-general in North Carolina from 1791 
to 1794, and it was in this position that he became widely known as an ad- 

Such was his popularity, and so high was the estimate put on him by the 
bar of North Carolina, that after serving something over three years as At- 
torney-general he was transferred to the bench, and for ten or twelve years 
he was on the bench of the Superior Court of North Carolina. During this 
time he was as completely the court as Chief-justice Marshall was of the 
Supreme Court of the United States. 

Such was his capacity for and love of work that, like Judge William F. 
Cooper, he found much spare time for other work when he was oc the 
bench, which he utilized both in North Carolina and Tennessee in writing 
books. In 1801 he published a " Manual of the Laws of North Carolina," a 
boo£ which is still valuable as a compilation of North Carolina statutes. 


6 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

About the same time he published " Haywood's Justice," and then he pub- 
lished the " North Carolina Reports," being the decisions of the Superior or 
Supreme Court of North Carolina from 1789 to 1806. 

Chief-justice Henderson, of North Carolina, in a comparatively recent de- 
cision, referring to one of Judge Haywood's opinions, says of him: "I 
neither disparage the living nor the dead when I say that an abler man 
than Judge Haywood never appeared at the bar or sat on the bench of 
North Carolina." 

Judge Haywood resigned his office as judge of the Superior Court to de- 
fend an old client charged with the crime of forging land waiTants. It is 
said this old man, who was Secretary of State, was so universally condemned 
that the odium of his defense, in some sense, attached to his lawyer, and 
there is a tradition that this was the cause of Judge Haywood's removal to 
Tennessee ; however this may be, immediately after this trial, and in a great 
measure through the influence of Judge Overton, who was his most inti- 
mate friend through the remainder of his life, he came to Tennessee and 
settled on the farm which he called " Tusculum," now owned by J. N. Cal- 
houn, seven miles from Nashville on the Nolensville pike, where he lived 
till he died, and where he was buried. 

About 1802 or 1803 he came to Tennessee, and in 1812 he was elected one 
of the judges of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, where he remained until his 
death in 1826. At his home he established a sort of law and literary school, 
built near his dwelling some cabins, in which he gave instruction to the 
young men — especially young men studying law. This was done without 
pay. This was the first attempt at a law school in the South-west. It was 
a work in which he took great delight, for he was always fonder of young 
men than of old ones, and besides he was of a literary turn, and had a mind 
which could not be at rest, and it seemed could not be overstocked with 

Under the early system of Tennessee, the judges of the Superior Court 
presided in the districts, as the judges of the Supreme Court of the United 
States do now. While he was on the bench, between 1812 and 1826, the 
time of his death, the changes were quite frequent, and during that time he 
had as his associates Judge John Overton, Hugh L. White, Robert Whyte, 
Archiliald Roane, Thomas Emerson, Jacob Peck, William L. Brown, Samuel 
Powell, Harry W. Humphrey, John Catron, and George W. Campbell. 

At that time there was no chief-justice, but Judge Haywood was the ac- 
cepted presiding member. The system made the judges of the Superior 
Court familiar with the lawyers all over the State, and there are many good 
anecdotes which have been traditionally preserved of Judge Haywood. 

He presided without any great amount of dignity, but commanded respect 
by his known superiorty. He had no pride of opinion, and with him the 
doctrine of stare decises was not as potent as the doctrine of right and justice. 
Like all great minds in the legal profession, he readily saw, and promptly 
seized the strong points — the points in a case — on which the case must be 
decided, and hence he had but little patience with the discussion of irrele- 
vant points; he would occasionally stop the lawyers in the middle of a case 
and decide it. He held the doctrine that courtesy to the bar must have a 


limit when the public time was being subordinated to the demands of either 
ignorance or eloquence. 

His one only fault on the bench is creditable to his heart, if not to his 
judgeship. He was a man of great sympathy and warm feeling, and always 
leaned to the oppressed, and his kindly nature made lawyers sometimes 
doubt him when a case was presented which might arouse his sympathies. 

Mr. Francis B. Fogg in his life-time told me an anecdote which illustrates 
his judicial character. Mr. Fogg came to Nashville about 1815, and Judge 
Haywood became at once very fond of him (Mr. Fogg being quite literary 
in his tastes), and often took him along for company when he was going to 
hold court. Having taken young Fogg with him to the court at Franklin 
about 1816, by way of helping the young man along and of bringing him 
into notice, he, as usvial, asked him to sit on the bench by his side. A case 
was on trial which Mr. Fogg assured me was all on one side, but the judge 
exercised great patience in hearing it argued, instead of promptly deciding 
against the plaintiff, who was a female. But after listening to the argument 
for some time, and knowing that there was some surprise at his patience, he 
turned to IMr. Fogg and whispered : " Mr. Fogg, I don't see how I can decide 
this case against that woman; she is very poor, and I am boarding with her." 
It was well known that his greatest trial in a judicial position was in pro- 
nouncing judgment in criminal cases, especially when the extreme penalty 
of the law was to be imposed. Whenever he could, he avoided it, by miti- 
gating the sentence or granting a new trial. On one occasion a very bad 
man had been convicted, when the public was clamorous and the Attor- 
ney-general persistent. Finally he said to the Attorney-general: "This is 
signing the poor fellow's death-warrant, and I reckon I will have to do it, but 
I want you to understand this hanging must last for several years." 

Having no pride of opinion, he would overrule his own cases if they were 
wrong without any qualification or explanation. At one time Spencer Jar- 
negan was arguing a question before him, and stated a proposition which the 
judge did not agree to, when the judge said: "Mr. Jarnegan, have you any 
authority for that proposition of law? " " Yes, sir, a very excellent author- 
ity," responded the ready Jarnegan, " I have a decision here of a very emi- 
nent judge of North Carolina, Judge Haywood." " Yes," replied the presid- 
ing judge with cautious forbearance, "I knew that young man; he was put 
on the bench of North Carolina when he was quite young, and he made 
many mistakes. Judge Haywood, of Tennessee, overrules Judge Haywood, 
of North Carolina." 

While he was on the bench of Tennessee he compiled and reported what 
is known as " Haywood's Eeports," in three volumes. Then, in conjunction 
with E. L. Cobbs, he compiled what is known as the " Statute Laws of Ten- 
nessee," besides writing a " Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee " a 
very curious book, in which he undertook to prove that the Indians came 
from Eastern ancient tribes. And then he wrote the remarkable book, " The 
History of Tennessee," which you are now having republished. Only a few 
copies of this book were printed. It has long been out of print, and not one 
man in ten thousand of the living Tennesseeans has ever seen it. Hence 
you are doing the public a great service in reprinting it. Without " Hay- 

8 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

wood's History of Tennessee," the history of our ancestors from 1769 to 1795 
would be a blank when tradition— fireside history— ceases to be available. 

For twenty-six years— from the time Robertson, the two Shelbys, and John 
Sevier made the first settlement on the Watauga until the State Government 
was formed in 1796- an Indian war raged. Before the Revolution, for sev- 
eral years, the British furnished the Cherokees, the Choctaws, and the Chick- 
asaws with guns and ammunition, and in every way encouraged them in 
their depredations on the settlers. Then, during the Revolution, these In- 
dians were the allies of the British, and kept up a running fight, using the 
rifle, the tomahawk, and the scalping-knife. After the war with the British 
was over, the Indians became the allies of the Spaniards, who maintained a 
threatening and warlike attitude toward the people of the frontier settle- 
ment, and through their influence the Indians continued their depreda- 

For about twenty years John Sevier stood guard and protected the women 
and children (often in forts) on the Watauga and Nolachucky, and Gen. 
Robertson, after he left the Watauga settlement, was the protector in the 
West. After the United States Government was formed in 1787, the deplor- 
able condition of the people on the frontiers, especially on the Cumberland, 
was time and again, by petitions and through messengers, fully made known 
to the government and assistance sought; but, notwithstanding Tennessee 
volunteers had by a signal victory in the darkest days of the Revolution at 
King's Mountain turned the tide which led to the surrender of Cornwallis, 
no aid was given, and the Tennessee settlements were left to the rapine and 
murder of the three most powerful of all Indian tribes. During all this 
time, except while the Revolution lasted, the United States not only gave no 
assistance, but actually forbade an open declaration of war, which the peo- 
ple of this Territory greatly preferred to the burning, killing, and scalping 
warfare which these Indians were carrying on. 

When Judge Haywood came to Tennessee, the people were living who had 
passed through this long Indian war. Jackson, Sevier, and Robertson, three 
of the most remarkable men that this or any other country has produced, 
were living; they were all the intimate friends of Judge Haywood, and from 
them and his associates on the bench, who had all been Indian fighters, and 
the citizens generally, some of whom had felt the blows of the tomahawk, 
and all of whom had shared in the dangers and hardships of the long strug- 
o-le with savage foes, he collected the facts for his " History of Tennessee." 
The people whose deeds of valor, whose trials of endurance, and whose noble 
manhood he was to write about were marked as the most wonderful people 
that this comparatively new country has produced. In many respects the 
victory of Sevier, Shelby, and Campbell over Ferguson at King's Mountain, 
and the victory of Jackson over Packingham at New Orleans, are the most 
astounding and signal victories recorded on the page of history. The sol- 
diers with whom these w^onderful victories were achieved, the same men who 
stood between the women and the children and the Indians' tomahawks for 
twenty-five years, were a people wdiose history. Judge Haygood felt, must 
not die. He has preserved their history with an accuracy and a detail whicli 
probably no other man could have done. With a fondness and a capacity 


for writing, and a patience in collecting details which no other man in Ten- 
nessee has had, he entered upon the work while the facts were all known to 
the living of writing the history of this wonderful people. 

His history is a diary of events, and there is scarcely an old family in the 
State that may not find in this diary some incident of deepest interest con- 
nected with its anfcestry. It is not so much a history of the great men of 
the time as it is of the people in general. He has detailed more than four 
hundred tragedies, giving the family, the name of the member killed or 
scalped or taken into the Indian Nation, together with the pursuit, when 
pursuit was made, and the result. This history, or diary, will give to some 
competent historian at some future day all the initiatory facts for writing 
a history of Tennessee which will contain more intense tragedy and ele^'ated 
romance than is found in the history of any modern people. 

But if this " History " had closed with its " Preface," it would have marked 
John Haywood as a great man. His unaffected modesty but fixed purpose to 
perpetuate the deeds of a great and long-sutfering people and to hold up to the 
coming generations, as examples for them to iiuitate, Sevier, Jackson, and 
Robertson, with many others equally brave but not equally great, and this 
modesty and patriotic desire, clothed in language that would adorn the writ- 
ings of the most gifted and most scholarly, even of this day, will inspire in 
the breast of many a reader who picks up the new book a glow of feeling and 
a respect for the name of a man who lived before our day of colleges and 

One of the other works of Judge Haywood, his " Natural and Aboriginal His- 
tory of Tennessee," is a book which seems never to have reached the public. 
It is badly printed, without head-notes, and with many mistakes of the 
printer. I can only hear of two copies ; one of these I found preserved as a 
sacred relic by the judge's grandson, Mr. J. W. Baker. The book shows the 
author to be a man of vast reading, with a most curious fondness and talent 
for delving into hidden mysteries, and withal a man of scholarly and scien- 
tific attainments far beyond what the literary men of this day will allow to 
their great-grandfathers. This book, in the attemj^t to discover the family 
to which the Indians found here belong, shows a familiarity with the an- 
cient Hindoos, the Chinese, the Persians, the Jews, and other ancient East- 
ern tribes, their habits and customs, which perhaps none of our modern 
literary explorers possess. The early finds in the way of coins, crockery, 
bones, skeletons, which he has given, and his deductions therefrom, are 
deeply interesting. 

It is this book, together with his work called the " Christian Advocate," I 
imagine, that has given rise to the report that Judge Haywood accepted the 
doctrine of visible supernatural agencies; and, in all probability, this comea 
in part from the discussion of an intricate and mysterious question w^hich I 
find in the book, and that is the question as to the power of water witches. He 
was a firm believer in the power of the forked switch, and argued it with an 
ingenuity that marks him as a man of infinite resources upon the most ab- 
struse questions. He makes the mystery of the needle pointing to the pole 
— that is, the fact that it does point to the pole — a basis for discussing un- 
known agencies and powers of the mind with an interest and an ingenuity 

10 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

that would surprise the modern mind-reader. He argues that the mind in- 
tently fixed on fresh water or intently fixed on salt water finds it; and he 
illustrates it by many instances of his own knowledge. The book, if ever 
republished, will be read with curious interest by all who have from recent 
develoijments come to believe in the operation of mind over mind through 
a yet unknown affinity. Judge Haywood turned prophet, and said, writing 
in 1822, that in fifty years the operation of one mind over another in a mys- 
terious way would be an accepted doctrine. 

But his book called the " Christian Advocate " is a literary curiosity — a 
book of rare merit. It (the volume) is divided into three books; the first 
into thirty-one chapters, the first chapter on prophesy and all the other chap- 
ters on the ancient people of the East, the many tribes, and then coming down 
through the Christian era showing the fulfillment of the prophecies. The 
wonder is that a man on the bench — for the book was written in 1819 — could 
give so much time to curious questions of theology, science, and race problems. 
He was a most devout Christian, a firm believer in the direct operation of the 
Holy Spirit, and believed also in supernatural agencies, sometimes visible 
to the eye. His writings on the prophecies and their fulfillment ought to 
be reprinted and given to that class of the clergy of the present day who 
think platitudes about faith when learned by heart are the only needs of 
the pulpit. 

The second book commences with a chapter on " The World Was Made, 
and Will Perish," and a most curious book it is. 

The third book commences with a chapter on "All men are from one com- 
mon stock." This book shows a knowledge of ancient history and of the 
similitude of races, ancient and modern, which will charm the man who is 
curious to know curious things. In this book he gives his views on the 
question of slavery. He believed with Washington and Jetferson that the 
policy of the government should be to fix bounds to its growth, and that 
the threatened conflict might be averted some system of emancipation 
ought to be adopted. But his broad humanitarian ideas carried him much 
farther in his feelings, and his views on this subject may be the reason why 
family and friends did not give the book a wider circulation ; for at the time 
of his death we were approaching the great sectional struggle which termi- 
nated in the attempt at secession. 

The Tennessee lawyer of the present day, if he traces the history of 
familiar principles, especially in relation to land titles and other questions 
peculiar to our jurisprudence, will be surprised to find how many of them 
had their origin (for many of them were new questions) in the massive 
brain of Judge Haywood; and it would be difiicult to find one of his well- 
considered cases that has since been overruled. 

Judge Haywood was in person an immense man, weighing 350 pounds. He 
was at times forbidding and rough, but his angry brow was but the forerun- 
ner of a gentleness which surprised and captivated. 

In 1822 the late honored Judge Guild applied to him to be examined for 
a law license, and he describes the old judge as surly and gruff, but after 
giving him a rigid examination and at last putting the question to him: 
" What is an estate tail, with possibility of issue extinct? " and upon hearing 


young Guild's answer, "That it was a question on which the authorities 
were not agreed, but that his definition was that it was a circumcision in 
violation of the canon law, carried to the utmost limit," he says the old 
judge laughed heartily, and Guild in his late book then gives this pleasing 
admonition as given to him. 

"The scowl now passed from the old judge's brow, his face lighted up 
with a smile, and he became exceedingly pleasant, which, was gratifying to 
me as indicating that I had made a very favorable impression on him. He 
then gave me some advice which contributed no little toward my future 
course. It was equal to that given to Yilliers by Lord Bacon, when the 
former was elevated to the position of chief cabinet officer of the Crown. 
Judge Haywood said to me: 'That I was about to enter upon the practice 
of law; to tread the paths of a profession which was beset with many rough 
places and many obstacles that would be hard to overcome,' and added: 
' You must enter that path impressed with the idea that your studies have 
just commenced. Your knowledge of the law is to be acquired by long and 
arduous studies. You will meet with many discouragements and disap- 
pointments in climbing the steeps of the profession, yet they can be over- 
come by constant toil and a firm resolution to become a man. You must 
show self-reliance. Take an office to yourself, and do not be like the vine 
supported by the oak around which it twines. Be courteous and aff"able to 
all, but familiar with none. Spend neither your days nor your nights in 
rounds of festivity or dissipation, either in drinking, gambling, or any other 
vice. Let not pleasure encroach upon your time, for time properly spent 
will bring wealth ; and above all, maintain an unblemished reputation and 
strive at distinction at the bar. Be prompt in attending to your business,, 
and reliable and honest in all your transactions. When retained in a law- 
suit, take down all the facts given by your client, examine all the authorities 
diligently, ascertain what action or bill will lie, and whether the law is with 
your client. If you are satisfied upon these points, advise your client to sue. 
If you entertain reasonable doubts, frankly state them to your client, and 
decline to bring the suit, unless he shall take the responsibility and demand 
it. During your reading in vacation, have an eye to each case you have 
brought; take notes of the decisions, and when you come to argue each 
case, be fiilly prepared with a brief, showing the authorities. Some lawyers 
have a series of stereotyped questions which they put to all witnesses — a 
vicious practice which frequently slays their own clients. Always have in 
view some important object, some point in the suit that will control it, and 
bring this out strongly, if favorable to you, but avoid or weaken its force if 
attempted to be made by your opponent. Never keep a client's money an 
hour after it is collected, find him and pay it over to him; thus you will ac- 
quire a character for honesty, promptness, and reliability, which to a lawyer 
is a jewel above price.' " 

An anecdote has been given me by Mr. Joseph Ramsey, of Bedford Coun- 
ty, a gentleman of high character, and who remembers Judge Haywood 
well. Mr. Ramsey is ninety-two years old, but has all his faculties. The 
anecdote illustrates Judge Haywood's idea of the obligations of the lawyer. 
Mr. Ramsey says: "That one Sampson Williams and one Hopkins had a 

12 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

land lawsuit. Judge Haywood was Williams's law3-er, and introduced a 
witness to prove the boundary, and that he was a chain carrier in making 
the survey, all of which he did prove very fully. On cross-examination, 
counsel asked him if he saw the new corner made? The answer was 'No! ' 
' But,' said the lawyer, ' you were there when they ran all the lines were 
you not?' The answer was: *Yes!' 'And you didn't see the new corner 
made, and the old one destroyed? ' ' No, I did not,' said the witness. ' Well 
now,' said the lawyer, ' can you explain how it is that you did not see the 
new corner made?' Hesitating, the witness said: 'They told me to turn 
my back when they made the new corner.' Judge Haywood immediately 
got up, put on his hat, and walked out of the court-house, after saying: 'Mr. 
Williams, I was employed by you to see that you got your rights, and not to 
aid you as a land pirate.' " 

One item of Judge Haywood's " History of Tennessee " imjjressed me as to 
his painstaking habits, and as to his inclination and jjowers of research. 

After I was retained in the case of the State of Mrginia vs. Tennessee, in 
the Supreme Court of the United States, failing after much labor, to get the 
early history of the dispute from other sources, I found in " Haywood's His- 
tory of Tennessee " a full and complete statement of the question from the 
time the dispute arose, in the year 1700, between the colonies, tracing with 
great particularity every step and every attempt at a settlement until the com- 
promise in 1802. It is a remarkable, concise, and no doubt truthful history of 
one of the most troublesome controversies that ever arose between the two 
governments, and at the end of nearly two hundred years we are indebted 
alone to Judge Haywood for preserving for us an accurate history of the 
long contest. 

Judge Haywood wrote about 122 years after the controversy commenced, 
and hence it was no doubt a matter of great labor to collect all the facts. In 
a conversation with Judge N. Baxter, Sr., he gave me the following interest- 
ing sketch of Judge Ha}-wood's appearance as he sat on the bench, and also 
his idea, most graphically and accurately stated, of the relative merits of Hay- 
wood and Felix Grundy: " He was the first judge I ever saw, and held the 
first court I ever saw in session. This was at Charlotte, Dickson County, 
about 1822 or 1823. I was much impressed with his personal appearance, 
and the picture photographed on my memory, as I now see it through the 
vista of niore than sixty years as he sat on an ordinary split-bottom chair, 
is that he was a very large man and very corpulent. His arms, his legs, 
and his neck were all thick and short, his abdomen came down on his lap 
and nearly covered it to liis knees. His head, wdiich rested nearly on his 
shoulders, was unusually large and peculiarly formed. His under jaw and 
lower face looked large and strong, and his head above his ears ran up high 
and somewhat conical, and viewed horizontallj^ it was rather square than 
round. His mouth was large, expressive, and rather handsome. You say 
of him 'that as an advocate true history will place him as the only peer of 
Felix Grundy.' From all I know of Judge Haywood as a practitioner of tlie 
law, gatliered from every source, from tradition and inferred from his judi- 
cial opinions, I had not supposed that the analogy between the two was very 
striking. Haywood was, doubtless, a very successful practitioner, but won 


his PTiccess with the court by his astute aud superior knowledge of the law 
and with the jury by his great abiUty to estimate the value of his facts and 
present them in such array as made his argument intelligible and unanswer- 
able, and thus enforced the accord of the jury nolens His arguments 
were addressed rather to the intelligence and judgment of the jury than to 
their passions or to any mere sentiment or prejudice. On the other hand, 
Judge Grundy, while no such astute and profound lawyer as Haywood was, 
and could not argue dry facts to that logical conclusion that Haywood could, 
yet he greatly surpassed Haywood in his knowledixe of men. He may not 
have known as well as Haywood what he was talking about, but he knew 
infinitely better who he Avas talking to. And though his arguments were 
not logically conclusive, they were overpoweringly persuasive and winning. 
Haywood forced courts and juries to decide cases for him because they did 
not see any way out of it. Grundy let them decide cases for him because 
they wanted to and regarded the privilege as a boon. Grundy knew every 
man on the jury, not by name, perhaps, but he knew the man and the stuff 
he was made of; he could penetrate to his heart and to his brain; he knew 
Avhat would move him and how to apply it, and when he was done with him 
the juror was ready to decide for him, facts or no facts, law or no law. The 
one practiced from the books and the testimony, the other practiced upon the 
men who were to decide the case." 

Picking up here and there a scrap as to the inner and social life of Judge 
Haywood, then turning to his books, his " Civil and Political History of Ten- 
nessee," in which is preserved for future generations a diary of our ancestors 
of deepest interest which would have been lost if he had not lived, and then 
reading his curious researches into the mysteries of the "Natural and Aborig- 
inal History " of the land we occupy before our ancestors came; and then his 
still more curious book, the " Christian Advocate," and then turning to the 
legal stoi-e-house in which, as Judge of the Supreme Court of two States, he 
laid the foundation of a judicial sj^stem broad and deep, tempering as only a 
great and good man could the stern mandates of the common law with equity 
and mercy, the reader of biography, ancient and modern, will ejaculate: 
"Where is his monument?" The echo must be: "The fitful fever of life 
being over, he sleeps well," but there is not a stone to mark the place. Some- 
where about the home he loved so well, somewhere on the farm, and, per- 
haps, near the spot where he wrote books and where he so beautifully tem- 
pered the law with mercy in preparing his judgments, and where he pointed 
the young lawyer the way to fame with uprightness in his profession — some- 
where here, but nobody knows just where, his remains repose. The de- 
scendants of a race of men whose deeds of valor and intellectual prowess put 
them at the very front, we must be painfully conscious of our indifference to 
their memories. Jackson's tomb is in decay ; a few noble women are trying 
to rescue it — working with but little support to preserve and perpetuate the 
reputation of the living — for .Jackson himself is immortal. While Pakenham, 
the vanquished, whose lifeless body Jackson sent back to Westminster Abbey, 
is made the subject of England's great appreciation of public service by a work 
of art for all England to see, Jackson, the victor, who with raw troops freed 
his country from an invading army, afterward under Wellington, at "Water- 

14 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

^00, is, by the government for which he did so much, left, so far as it is con- 
cerned, without a stone to mark his resting-place ; and his own State, whose 
very name he immortalized, niggardly commits his memory to a few loving 
women, who, like the women after the crucifixion, in sadness and sorrow 
looked after the body, are doing what they can to rescue the tomb of Ten- 
nessee's immortal hero. And it was only through the Tennessee Historical 
Society, after the State's neglect for more than seventy years, that the 
remains of John Sevier, the immortal hero of King's Mountain, and who 
for twenty years stood on the frontier and protected the women and chil- 
dren from the Indians' tomahawks, were rescued from a forgotten grave in a 
distant State. And the very founder of our judicial system is so far forgot- 
ten that not a finger can point to the spot where his bones lie. Tennessee is 
badly in need of a revival in the religion which intensifies love of country and 
binds us to our dead heroes. A. S. Colyar. 

Nashville, Tenn., December 8, 1890. 



Boundaries of Virginia, 1606; of Carolina, 1662; Northern Boundary, 1665 — 
North Carolina: Commissioners to Run the Northern Boundary — Convention 
of the Governors upon This Subject — Line Run in Part in 1728 — The Middle 
of the Mississippi the Boundary to the West — Boundaries of the State De- 
clared by the Constitution — The Declaration of Virginia — Extension of the 
Line, 1779; 1780 — Dispute with Virginia Settled — Dispute with Kentucky 
Settled — Indian Cessions and Boundaries from Time to Time. 

THE knowledge of societies existing in particular States, and 
of what they have done in those situations, is of great use, as 
it enables him who possesses it to anticipate, upon the recurrence 
of like circumstances, the results to be produced by them, and to 
adopt a suitable course both for himself and for those who are 
under his care. In that point of view, the history of Tennessee is 
worthy to be preserved. In it there is a peculiarity not likely 
often to recur. This pattern of humanity ought to be preserved 
while we yet have it in our power, otherwise a lapse of ages may 
intervene before the opportunity may be again presented of tak- 
ing it with any exactitude. In viewing the first settlements of 
Tennessee, and those who were the principal actors in the estab- 
lishment of them; in contemplating the obstacles opposed to 
their efforts, and the difficulties which were encountered in sur- 
mounting them ; in noticing the expedients resorted to for the 
accomplishment of their purposes, will be also evinced an im- 
portant truth that men, educated in poverty and almost in 
ignorance of literature of any sort, are yet capable of great 
achievements and of actions the most highly conducive to the 
prosperity and character of the nation to which they belong. 
Hence those in the higher ranks of life may learn a lesson 
very fit to be known by honest politicians, which is that all ranks 
in society, like the larger and smaller wheels in a time-piece, are 
necessary to the production of beneficial results, and are all per- 
haps equally worthy of the provident care of a wise legislator. 



There is also another object in view: it is to show to the rising 
generation and to posterity, should this volume ever meet the 
eyes of posterity, who were the benefactors, to whom and to 
w^hose children the gratitude of the obliged ought to be directed. 
And as human action, when represented in an isolated state, un- 
connected with the circumstances of time and place, can be at 
best but imperfectly understood, a just elucidation of the sub- 
ject requires an attention to the theater of action, as well as to 
the chronological order of every occurrence which took place. 
A part of this book, therefore, must be appropriated to the 
boundaries of the State, and to those boundaries within its lim- 
its which have at difPerent periods of time been made between 
the Indians and white people. 

Upon this subject we will first advert to the northern bcunda- 
ry, and next to the southern. 

On the 23d of May, 1609, James I. of England, by, his letters 
patent, reciting former letters patent dated the 10th of April, in 
the sixth year of his reign, which was 1606, gave and granted to 
Robert, Earl of Salisbury, Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, and a great 
number of other persons, " all those countries, lying and being 
in that part of America called Virginia, from the jDoint of land 
called Cape or Point Comfort, all along the sea-coast to the 
northward, two hundred miles ; and from the said point of Cape 
Comfort, all along the sea-coast to the southward, two hundred 
miles; and all that space and circuit of land, lying from the coast 
of the precinct aforesaid, up into the land throughout, from sea 
to sea, west and north-west," etc. 

On the 24th of March, 1662-63, in the fifteenth year of the reign 
of Charles II. of England, he granted to the proprietors of Car- 
olina, " all that province, etc., called Carolina, situate, lying and 
being in America, extending from the north end of an island 
called Luke Island, which lieth in the Southern Virginia seas, 
and within thirty-six degrees of north latitude, and to the west 
as far as to the South seas, and so respectively as far as the river 
Matthias, which bindeth upon the coast of Florida, and within 
thirty-one degrees of northern latitude, and so west, in a direct 
line, as far as the South seas aforesaid." 

On the 30th of June, in the year of our Lord 1655, King Charles 
II. granted to the proprietors of Carolina " all that province, 
etc., in America, extending north and eastward as far as the 

HAYAYOOD's history of TENNESSEE. 17 

north end of Currituck River or Inlet, upon a straight westerly- 
line to Wyonoak Creek, which lies trithin or ahoiit th*'ty-six de- 
grees and thirty minutes northern latitude, and so west in a di- 
rect line, as far as the South seas, and. southward and westward 
as far as the degree of twenty-nine, inclusive, of northern lati- 
tude, and south-west, in a direct line, as far as the South seas." 

The southern part of Carolina and the northern, though he- 
longing to the same proprietors, because of the remote distance 
of the settlements from each other, were placed under different 
Governors. There was at the time of the adoption of this meas- 
ure a space of three hundred miles, with numerous Indians, be- 
tween them. North Carolina was at first called otiv Countij oj 
AlheuHirlc, in CaroJitia. But about the beginning of 1700 it be- 
gan to be called the CoJo)ii/ of Xorth CaivJiua.* As the settle- 
ments began to extend, this unlocated boundary became 
the subject of much altercation between Virginia and North 

The Virginians, under titles from the crown, had taken up 
lands to the southward of the proper limits; and the Carolinians, 
under warrants from the ^proprietors, were charged with taking 
up lands that belonged to the crown. Before January, 1711, 
commissioners had been appointed to run the boundary line; 
proclamations were issued forbidding surveys and grants for 
lands within the disputed limits, until the line should be marked, 
but without effect. J In January, 1711, commissioners were again 
appointed by the Governors of Virginia and North Carolina, but 
for want of money they also failed to accomplish their intended 
object. The public inconvenience experienced from these fail- 
ures deeply affected the peace of society, and a remedy was 
sought for in the act of limitations. The preamble contains a 
brief but impressive enumeration of the prominent evils of the 
times, and of the causes which produced the act. " Whereas 
great suit, debate, and controversy hath heretofore been, and may 
hereafter arise, by means of ancient titles to lands derived from 
patents granted by the Governor of Virginia, the condition of 
which patents have not been performed, nor quit rents paid, or 
the lands have been deserted by the first patentees ; or for, or by- 
reason or means of, former entries or patents granted in this 

* 1 Williamson, 162. f 2 Williamson, 16. J Ibid. 


government ; " for prevention whereof, and for quieting men's es- 
tates, and for avoiding suits in law, this act professes to be 
made. It proposes for its own achievement the most important 
end of legislation, tlte quieting of men's estates. In 1728 the at- 
tempt was again repeated and failed, after the commissioners of 
both colonies had met at Currituck. Their instructions were so 
framed as to frustrate the attempt: they were directed to begin 
at the north end of Currituck River or Inlet, thence to run west- 
wardly to the mouth of Wyonoak Creek, or Chowan Eiver, whence 
it was to be continued a due west course. There was no Curri- 
tuck River, but only a bay of that name, the head of which is 
10' or 15' to the northward of the inlet where the line should 
begin. They could not agree upon the place "called Wyonoak, 
"nor could they agree at what place to fix the latitude of 36° 
30'. They broke up without doing any thing, and the Gov- 
ernors of North Carolina and Virginia were obliged to fix 
upon terms that were explicit. They made a convention upon 
the subject of a boundary between the two provinces, which 
they transmitted to England for the king's approbation; the 
king in council agreed to the convention, and so did the lord 
proprietors, and returned it to the Governors to be executed. 
The agreement was "that from the mouth of Currituck River, 
setting the compass on the north shore thereof, a due west line 
shall be run and fairly marked, and if it happen to cut Chowan 
River between the mouth of Nottoway River and Wiccacon Creek, 
then the same direct course shall be continued toward the 
mountains, and be ever deemed the dividing line between Vir- 
ginia and Carolina. But if the said west line cuts Chowan River 
to the southward of Wiccacon Creek, then from that point of in- 
tersection the bounds shall be allowed to continue up the mid- 
dle of Chowan River, to the middle of the entrance into said 
Wiccacon Creek; and from thence a due west line shall divide 
the two governments. That if said west line cuts Blackwater 
River to the northward of Nottoway River, then from the point 
of intersection, the bounds shall be allowed to be continued 
down the middle of said Blackwater, to the middle of the en- 
trance into said Nottoway River, and from thence a due west line 
shall divide the two governments. 

"That if a due west line shall be found to pass through islands, 
or cut out small slips of land, which might much more conven- 

Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 19 

ieiitly be included iu the one province or other, by natural water 
bounds, in such case the persons appointed for running the line 
shall have power to settle natural bounds, provided the commis- 
sioners on both sides agree thereto; and that all variation from 
the west line be punctually noted on the premises or plats, 
which they shall return to be put upon the records of both gov- 
ernments." Commissioners were appointed to carry this agree- 
ment into effect, both on the part of Virginia and North Carolina. 

On the 15th of December, 1727, an answer was written by the 
Governor of Virginia to the Governor of North Carolina on the 
subject; and on the 16th of December, 1727, the commissioners 
of Virginia wrote to the commissioners of North Carolina on 
the same subject. The commissioners met at Currituck Inlet in 
1728. The variation of the compass was found to be 3° 1' 2"* 
W., nearly; and the latitude 36° 31'. The dividing line struck 
Black water one hundred and seventy-six poles above the mouth 
of Nottoway. The variation of the compass at the mouth of Not- 
toway was 2° 30'. The commissioners on the part of Virginia 
were: Col. Bird, Richard Fitzwilliam, and William Dandridge. 
On the part of North Carolina they were: John Lovick, Chris- 
topher Gale, Edward Mosely, and AVilliam Little. This line 
was afterward extended by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, 
commissioners on the part of Virginia, together with Daniel 
Weldon and William Churton, from North Carolina. 

When the revolution commenced, and North Carolina made a 
Constitution for herself, which was ratified on December 18, 
1776, the boundaries of the State were declared to be as then 
recognized by Virginia and South Carolina, and which they 
have never since questioned: "Beginning on the sea-side, on a 
cedar stake, near the mouth of Little River, being the southern 
extremity of Brunswick County, which stands in 33" 56', to 35° 
N. latitude; and from thence a west course, so far as is men- 
tioned in the charter of King Charles II. to the late proprietors 
of Carolina. All the territories, seas, waters, and harbors, with 
their appurtenances, lying between this line and the southern 
line of the State of Virginia, which begins on the sea-shore, in 
36° 30' N. latitude; and from thence west, agreeably to the said 
charter of King Charles, they declared to be the right and prop- 
erty of the people of North Carolina." 

* Williamson, 22. 

20 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

By the treaty of peace signed at Paris in 1763, between the 
kings of Great Britain and France, it was agreed for the future 
that the confines between the dominions of the two crowns in 
America should be irrevocably fixed by a line drawn along the 
middle of the river Mississippi, from its source, as far as the 
river Iberville; and from thence, by a line drawn along the 
middle of this river and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. 
All the country between the Mississippi and the South Sea was 
abandoned by the British government in this treaty; yet the 
convention of North Carolina seemed to be stubbornly unwill- 
ing to recognize that relinquishment in 1776; when, at the same 
time, they looked forward to France and Spain as the most 
faithful friends they had in the existing contest with Great 

Virginia, in a general convention of delegates and represent- 
atives from the several counties and corporations of Virginia, 
held at the capitol in the city of Williamsburg, on Monday, the 
5th of May, 1776, made a declaration of rights, and agreed upon 
a Constitution or form of government. Amongst other things 
contained therein, it is ordained as follows: "Section 21. The 
territories contained within the charters erecting the colonies of 
Maryland, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, are hereby 
conceded and forever confirmed to the people of these colonies 
respectively," etc. Here was magnanimously cut off and sur- 
rendered all the territories which had been taken from Virgin- 
ia by royal patents to satisfy the grants to the lord proprietors. 
The Mississippi and the latitude 36° 30' were now firmly settled 
as the boundaries of North Carolina, and it was cheerfully hoped 
that no further difiiculties would ever arise on the subject. Full 
of this expectation, the assemblies of Virginia and North Car- 
olina, in 1779, appointed commissioners to extend the boundary 
line between them, as the extension of the western settlements 
then made it a necessary measure. They were to begin the ex- 
tension of the line where Fry and Jeft'erson, and Weldon and 
Churton ended their rrork; and if that be found to be truly in 
latitude 36° 30' N., then to run from thence due west to the Ten- 
nessee or the Ohio Eiver; or, if it be found not truly in said lat- 
itude, then to run from the said place due north or due south 
into the said latitude, and thence due west to the said Tennes- 
see or Ohio River, correcting the said course at due intervals 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 21 

by astronomical observations. Col. Henderson and William B. 
Smith, on the part of North Carolina; and Daniel Smith and 
Doctor Walker, on the part of Virginia, met to extend the line 
in the year 1780. They ran it together about forty miles, when 
some difference took place, and the commissioners on the part 
of North Carolina ran a parallel line two miles north of the oth- 
er line for about half the distance, and extended the line no 
farther. Mr. Walker and the other commissioner from Virginia 
extended the line to the Tennessee Eiver, and marked its termina- 
tion on the Mississippi by observations, leaving the line from the 
Tennessee to that place nnsurveyed. The Virginia commission- 
ers made a report to their constituents, which may be seen in 
the appendix to this volume. 

As was to be anticipated, much disorder ensued from the run- 
ning of these two lines; between them the authority of either State 
was not established; the validity of process from either State was 
not acknowledged; entries for the interstitial lands were made 
in the land offices of both States, and grants issued from both 
States. Crimes committed between the two lines could not be 
punished by either State, because in every indictment the j^lace , 
ichere was a material averment, as also it was to set forth the 
county and State in which it lay. Such a state of society could 
not long be endured, and the State of Virginia applied to North 
Carolina in 1789 to remedy these evils by the establishment of 
Walker's line. The assembly of North Carolina which began 
its session at Fayetteville on the 2d of November, 1789, and rose 
on the 22d of December, referred to a committee the letter of 
the Governor of Virginia on this subject. They reported "that 
it was proposed on the part of Virginia that the line common- 
ly called Walker's line be established as the boundary between 
the two States. Should this proposal not be acceptable to North 
Carolina, they then will appoint commissioners to meet any per- 
sons who may be appointed on the part of North Carolina, em- 
powered to confer on the propriety of establishing Walker's or 
Henderson's line, and to report their proceedings to the Legisla- 
tures of their respective States." They then state the facts rela- 
tive to the running of the two lines, and of Walker's line to the 
Tennessee, and of marking its termination on the Mississippi, 
and proceed: "As the difference between said lines could be only 
two miles, running most of the distance through a mountainous, 


barren country, and as they have great reason to believe, from 
the information of Gen. Smith, that the line commonly called 
Walker's line is the true one, your committee are of opinion 
that the object is not worth the expense of sending commission- 
ers to confer on the j^ropriety of establishing Henderson's line 
in preference to that of any other; and do recommend that a law 
be passed confirming and establishing the line commonly called 
Walker's line as the boundary between North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia, with a reservation in favor of the oldest grants from either 
State, in deciding the rights of individual claimants on the tract 
between the two lines commonly called Walker's and Hender- 
son's line. Signed, Thomas Person, Chairman." This report was 
concurred with by both houses of the Legislature; at least so it 
is stated to have been, by the next report made upon the same 
subject. In the House of Commons, on the 11th of December, 
1790, the committee to whom the letter from the Governor of Vir- 
ginia, on the boundary line between North Carolina and the 
State of Virginia, was referred, reported "That in the opinion 
of your committee, the boundary line between North Carolina 
and Virginia be confinned agreeably to the report of a committee 
concKrred iv'dli by botJi houses, last session of assembly; and that 
a law be passed confirming the line commonly called Walker's 
line as the boundary between the States of North Carolina and 
Virginia, reserving the rights of the oldest patents, grants, or en- 
tries made in either of the States. All of which is submitted. 
Signed, Thomas Person, Chairman." On the 11th of December, 
1790, this report was concurred in by both houses. 

On the 7th of December, 1791, the Assembly of Virginia, hav- 
ing received official information that the Legislature of North 
Carolina had resolved to establish the line commonly called 
Walker's line as the boundary between North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia therefore enacted that the line commonly called Walker's 
line shall be, and is hereby declared to be, the boundary line of 
this State. As these proceedings were after the cession act, and 
the latter of them after the date of the deed made by the North 
Carolina Senators in Congress, ceding to the United States the 
western territory, they were not recognized by the State of Ten- 
nessee as valid. 

On the 13th of November, 1801, the Assembly of Tennessee, 
by an act passed for the purpose, authorized the Governor to 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 23 

appoint commissioners to meet others appointed or to be ap- 
pointed on the part of Virginia, to take the latitude and run the 
line. Commissioners were appointed for the same purpose by 
the State of Virginia. They all met at Cumberland Gap, and on 
the 18th of December, 1802, came to an agreement, which they 
reduced to writing, and signed and sealed; in pursuance of 
which they ran the dividing line between the two States. The 
agreement and the line run in pursuance of it, both States con- 
firmed by an act of their respective Legislatures. The act of the 
State of Tennessee was passed on the 3d of November, 1803, and 
that of Virginia in the same year. Joseph Martin, Creed Tay- 
lor, and Peter Johnston were the commissioners on the part of 
Virginia; and John Sevier, George Eutledge, and Moses Fisk, 
on the part of Tennessee. The agreement, and the certificate of 
the surveyors who ran the dividing line, follow: 

"The commissioners for ascertaining and adjusting the bound- 
ary line between the States of Virginia and Tennessee, appoint- 
ed pursuant to public authority, on the part of each — Gen. Jo- 
seph Martin, Creed Taylor, and Peter Johnston, for the former; 
and Moses Fisk, Gen. John Sevier, and Gen. George Rutledge, 
for the latter — having met at the place previously appoint- 
ed for the purpose, and not uniting from the general result of 
their astronomical observations, to establish either of the former 
lines, called Walker's and Henderson's, unanimously agreed, in 
order to end all controversy respecting the subject, to run a due 
west line, equally distant from both, beginning on the summit of 
the mountain generally known by the name of the White Top 
Mountain, where the north-east corner of Tennessee terminates, 
to the top of the Cumberland Mountain, where the south-western 
corner of Virginia terminates, which is hereby declared to be the 
true boundary line between the said States, and has been accord- 
ingly run by Brice Martin and Nathan B. Markland,the surveyors 
duly appointed for the purpose, and marked under the direction of 
the said commissioners, as will appear more at large by the re- 
port of the said surveyors hereto annexed, and bearing equal 
date herewith. The commissioners do further unanimously 
agree to recommend to their respective States that individuals 
having claims or titles to lands on either side of said line as now 
fixed and agreed on, and between the lines aforesaid, shall not, 
in consequence thereof, in any wise be prejudiced or affected 

24 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

thereby; and that the Legislatures of their respective States 
should pass mutual laws to render all such claims or titles se- 
cure to the owners thereof. 

"And the said commissioners do further unanimously agree to 
recommend to the States respectively, that reciprocal laws should 
be passed confirming the acts of all public officers, whether mag- 
istrates, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors, or constables, between the 
said lines, which would have been legal in either of the afore- 
said States had no difference of opinion existed about the true 
boundary line. This agreement shall be of no effect till ratified 
by the Legislatures of the States aforesaid respectively, and un- 
til they shall pass mutual laws for the purposes aforesaid. 

"Given under our hands and seals, at William Robertson's, 
near Cumberland Gap, the 8th of December, A.D. 1802." 

The certificate of the surveyors then followed in the report, in 
these words : 

"The undersigned surveyors having been duly appointed to 
run the boundary line between the States of Virginia and Ten- 
nessee, as directed by the commissioners for that purpose, have 
agreeably to their orders run the same. 

"Beginning on the summit of the White Top Mountain, at 
the termination of the north-eastern corner of the State of Ten- 
nessee, a due west course to the top of the Cumberland Mount- 
ain, where the south-western corner of the State of Virginia ter- 
minates, keeping at an equal distance from the lines called 
Walker's and Henderson's; and have had the new line run as 
aforesaid, marked with five chops in the form of a diamond, as 
directed by the said commissioners." 

This certificate is dated on the same day the report of the 
commissioners was. Laws were passed by the Legislatures of 
both States for the confirmation of all these stipulations. 

As to the other part of the boundary between this State and 
Kentucky, proposals, and negotiations, and acts of Assembly con- 
tinued to be made for many years, and matters seemed as if they 
never. could be settled. At length, in 1819, Kentucky took a 
step of a very decisive character. Her commissioners, Alexan- 
der and Munson, came to the Cumberland Eiver, and took the lati- 
tude upon its bank, sixteen or seventeen miles above the termi- 
nation of Walker's line on that river, and to the south of it, and 
from thence ran due west to the Mississippi. Tennessee was 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. ' 25 

about to open a laud office, and to apj)ropriate the lands lately 
purchased by treaty from the Chickasaw Indians. Old entries 
had been made in the land offices of North Carolina, to a con- 
siderable amount, for lands north of Alexander and Munson's 
line; and if this territory should be lost to the State of Tennes- 
see, either those claims must be satisfied out of the residue of 
the Chickasaw lands within the bounds of Tennessee, or must 
abide the event of a judicial contest between the two States, 
when there might be no longer any lands left wherewith to sat- 
isfy their claims, should the decision eventually be unfavorable 
to the State of Tennessee. Such were the existing circumstances 
at the meeting of the Assembly of the State of Tennessee, in Sep- 
tember, 1819; and they imperiously called for the attention of 
the Legislature. The subject was referred to a committee, and 
they reported, giving a historical statement of all the material 
facts which related to Walker's line, and recommended the ap- 
pointment of commissioners to negotiate afresh upon the subject 
of the boundary. The assembly passed a law upon the subject. 
It directed two commissioners to be appointed by joint ballot of 
both houses, who should forthwith repair to the Legislature of 
Kentucky, then in session, and come to an agreement for settling 
the boundary. It gave them full and absolute powers, without 
revision or control of the Legislature as to what they did, not 
needing the previous consent or ratification of the Legislat- 
ure to make it valid. The Assembly foresaw the impossibility 
of reconciling all parties who might be affected by the treaty 
when made; and prudently, as they supposed, cut up the diffi- 
culties of future opposition by the roots, by this determined and 
unusual step. The commissioners elected were Felix Grundy 
and William L. Brown. Well aware of the high responsibility 
they had undertaken, and of the important consequences which 
were to ensue from their conduct, and aware, also, of the splen- 
did talents which it was well known the State of Kentucky 
could put in array against them, they set forward, arrived at the 
place where the Legislature of Kentucky were in session, pre- 
sented themselves, and made known their commission. They 
opened and conducted the negotiation with ability, and finally 
succeeded in making a convention, which may be seen in the "Ap- 
pendix " to this volume. 

As is the fate of every treaty, whether bad or good, and with 

26 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

the acts of public servants, whether praiseworthy or otherwise, 
this treaty, as soon as it saw the light, was encountered with ex- 
ceedingly animated opposition. It finally triumphed, however: 
the Legislature recognized its validity, and provided for its exe- 

As to the southern boundary, in the year 1712, Gov. Hyde, 
in his commission, was called the Governor of North Carolina. 
From the year 1693 the legislative bodies were called assem- 
blies, but prior to that time, parliaments.* In the year 1737 
commissioners were appointed on behalf of North Carolina 
and South Carolina, to run a dividing line. The commissioners 
on the part of North Carolina were Robert Hilton, Matthew 
Rowan, and Edward Moseley. The commissioners began at a 
cedar stake, on the sea-shore, by the mouth of Little River, and 
having run a north-west line until they arrived, as they con- 
ceived, at the beginning of the thirty-fifth degree of north lati- 
tude, they altered the course by mutual consent, and ran to the 
river Pedee. At the termination of the north-western line, they 
erected a light wood stake, upon a mound of earth. The line 
was extended twenty miles by private persons, and that tempo- 
rary line was continued farther in the year 1764. This was 
taken for the true line, according to Gov. Tryon's proclama- 
tion of the 9th of May, 1765. Since the Revolution it has been 
extended to the eastern boundary of the State of Tennessee. 

Commissioners were lately appointed to run the dividing line 
between the States of Georgia and Tennessee, and they reported 
that they, pursuant to " an act to run and establish the boundary 
line between this State and the State of Georgia," proceeded to 
appoint Joseph Cobb, Esq., surveyor, and employed and appoint- 
ed two markers and two chain-carriers, Robert Blair, Isaac Ray, 
Short Shelton, and David Boling; and that they arrived at Ross's, 
in the Cherokee Nation, on the Tennessee River, on the 15th of 
May, 1818, being the place to which they were ordered by the 
Governor's instructions; from whence they proceeded to Nicka- 
jack, on the Tennessee River, being the boundary line between 
the States of Georgia and Alabama, and met the commissioner, 
mathematician, and surveyor, who were appointed on the part of 
Georgia, on the 16th of May, 1818. And after exchanging their 
powers, proceeded to ascertain the thirty-fifth degree of north 

®1 Will., 162. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 27 

latitude. After sundry observations, and great delay, occasioned 
by unfavorable weather, on the 31st it was ascertained, by mut- 
ual consent of all concerned, to be one mile and twenty-eight 
poles from the south bank of the Tennessee River, due soiitli from 
near the center of the town of Nickajack, near the top of the 
mountain. At this point, it was supposed, should be the corner 
of the States of Georgia and Alabama. " Here we caused a rock 
to be set up about two feet high, and four inches thick, and fif- 
teen inches broad, engraved on the north side thus: ^Jnne 1st, 
1818, var. [for variation], six and three-fourth deg. east,' which 
was found to be the variation of the compass. And on the south 
side of said rock was also engraved, 'Geo. lot. 35 north. J. Car- 
mack.' The corner-stone being set, we ran the line due east, 
lessening the variation by degrees, and closed it on the top of 
the Unaca Mountain, with five and a half deg. of variation. The 
line was marked by blazing all the trees on the east and west 
side that stood within six feet of the line, and all that stood on 
either side of these blazed trees were marked with the chops 
pointing to the line. It was measured and mile-marked, with 
the number of miles on the west side of the tree, and a cross on 
the east side. Old Mr. Ross's is two miles eighteen yards in Ten- 
nessee; David M'Nair's is one mile and one-fourth of a mile in 
Tennessee. We began the extension of the line on the first day 
of June, 1818, and closed it on the twenty-seventh of the same 
month. The length of the line is one hundred and ten miles 
lacking two outs, from the rock before described to the top of 
the Unaca Mountain. This mountain is the ridge that divides 
the waters of the Tennessee and the Hiwassee, the line running 
near the head of the latter river." 

This report was made by Maj.-Gen. John Cocke, the Tennes- 
see commissioner. Mr. Gaines, the mathematician on the part 
of Tennessee, was also to have signed it, but being absent, it was 
signed by Gen. Cocke alone. 

The line west of Nickajack was extended in part by Gen. 
Cofi'ee, and the residue by Gen. Winchester, to the river Missis- 
sippi, and all parties concerned acquiesced therein. 

The eastern boundary of this State was established by the act 
of Assembly of North Carolina, 1789, ch. 3, commonly called the 
cession act, which ceded to the United States all the territory 
now called Tennessee, and which lay west of the bounds they 

28 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

described. These bounds were as follows: Beginning at the ex- 
treme height of the Stone Mountain, at the place where the Vir- 
ginia line intersects it; running thence along the extreme height 
of said mountain, to the place where the Watauga Kiver breaks 
through ; thence a direct course to the top of the Yellow Mount- 
ain, where Bright' s road crosses the same; thence along the 
ridge of said mountain between the waters of Doe Eiver and the 
waters of Rock Creek, to the place where the road crosses the 
Iron Mountain; thence along the extreme height of said mount- 
ain to where the Nolichucky River runs through the same; thence 
to the top of the Bald Mountain; thence along the extreme 
height of said mountain to the place where it is called the 
Great Iron or Smoky Mountain; thence along the extreme 
height of said mountain to the place where it is called Unacoy 
or Unaca Mountain, between the Indian towns of Cowee and Old 
Chota; thence along the main ridge of said mountain to the 
southern boundary of this State. 

A controversy arose concerning the Unaca Mountain, and 
commissioners were appointed between the States of Tennessee 
and North Carolina to ascertain which was the mountain so 
called in the act of cession. The commissioners met at New- 
port, in Tennessee, on the 14th of July, 1821, to make the neces- 
sary arrangements for running and completing the line between 
the two States. Commissioners from North Carolina alone had 
run it in part, from the White Top Mountain, on the Yirginia 
line, to the place where they stopped in 1797. This was near 
the Catatooche road, on the Smoky Mountain ; from which place 
to the crossing of the Tennessee River, a few miles above the Ta- 
lassee Old Town, is twenty-two miles; and from thence to the 
termination of the main Unaka Mountain, the last point desig- 
nated in the act of cession, is seventy-nine miles, making the 
whole distance one hundred and one miles, to a hickory tree and 
rock, set up at the edge of the Unaca turnpike road, marked 
with the distance and initials of the two States. From that point 
the commissioners unanimously agreed to run due south, until 
they should strike the southern boundary of the two States, on 
the Georgia line, which was found by them to be one hundred 
and sixteen miles, at a point twenty-three poles east of the 
seventy-two mile tree, from the point where the southern bound- 
ary of this State strikes the south bank of the Tennessee River, at 

Haywood's histoby of Tennessee. 29 

the State o£ Alabama. This leaves the upper part of the Hiwassee 
River, contrary to what was expected, in North Carolina, includ- 
ing the Middle Settlements of the Cherokees, or what was termed 
the Valley Towns, which is sufficient in extent to make a consid- 
erable county in North Carolina, west of Haywood County. To 
this tract the Indian claim is yet unextinguished. The line 
having been run by the proper authority, their proceedings 
were fully ratified by the Legislatures of North Carolina and 
Tennessee, and the boundary between them, in this quarter, be- 
came thenceforth certain and fixed. The principal part of the 
Indian claim is extinguished by the late treaties. 

The Indian boundaries which have been established by trea- 
ties, from time to time, are next to be described. 

The first cession was made at Fort Stanwix, in the month of 
November, in the year 1766, by commissioners on behalf of his 
Britannic majesty, on the one part, and the Six Nations on the 
other. They then passed away from the Six Nations, the sole 
sovereigns of the soil, all their right south-east of the Ohio, and 
down to the Cherokee River, which, they said in the treaty, was 
their just right, and vested the soil and sovereignty thereof, in 
the King of Great Britain. In the year 1781 it became neces- 
sary to fix the extent of Indian claims, and the deposition of 
Col. George Croghan was resorted to for that purpose. He 
had lived nearly thirty years among the Indians, in the charac- 
ter of deputy superintendent, and seems to have possessed a more 
general knowledge of the state of their claims and the history 
of their wars than any other who has been drawn into public ob- 
servation. His deposition is in these words: "George Croghan, 
Esq., being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of iVlmighty 
God, doth depose &nd say that the Six Nations claim by rig Jit of 
conqnest all the lauds on the south-east side of the river called 
Stony River; and that the Six Nations never had a claim of any 
kind, nor made any claim to lands below the Big Miami or 
Stony River, on the west side of the Ohio; but that the lands 
on the west side of the Ohio, below Stony River, were always 
supposed to belong to the Indians of the Western Confeder- 
acy; that Col. Croghan, the deponent, has for thirty years been 
intimately acquainted with the above country and the Indians, 
and their different claims to territory, and never heard the Six 
Nations claim, and knows they never did claim, beyond the above 

30 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee, 

description ; nor did they ever dispute the claim of the "Western 
Confederacy. Sworn to the 20th of October, 1781, before me, 
George Miller." Some visiting Cherokees, at the treaty held at 
Fort Stanwix, had, on their route, killed game for their support, 
and on their arrival at Fort Stanwix they immediately tendered 
the skins to the Indians of the Six Nations, saying, " They are 
yours; we killed them after we passed the "Big River," the name 
by which the Cherokees have always designated the Tennessee. 
The Six Nations claimed the soil by conquest, not as the abo- 
riginal owners, and this is the traditionary account of their na- 
tion. Who were the aborigines, and whether they were all de- 
stroyed or driven from their possessions, and when these events 
happened, are left unfixed. But in 1750 they rested upon tra- 
dition, which at that time had lost the circumstantial details 
which belong to recent transactions. Certain it is, the whole 
country which they claimed was depopulated, and still retained 
the vestiges of an ancient and very numerous population. 

In the fall of the year 1774 a treaty was commenced between 
a company composed of Richard Henderson, Thomas Hart, Na- 
thaniel Hart, John Williams, William Johnston, John Luttrell, 
John Hogg, David Hart, and Leonard H. Bullock, of the one 
part, and the Cherokees of the other, which terminated in March, 
1775. The treaty was held at Watauga. The company obtained 
from them, in fair and open treaty, two deeds. One of them was 
called the Path Deed, and the courses and boundaries expressed 
in it are as follow: "All that tract, territory, or parcel of land, 
beginning on the Holston River, where the course of Powell's 
Mountain strikes the same; thence up the said river as it mean- 
ders to where the Virginia line crosses the same; thence west- 
wardly along the line run by Donelson, etc., to a point six En- 
glish miles eastward of the Long Island, in the said Holston 
River; thence a direct course toward the mouth of the Great 
Kanawha, until it reaches the top ridge of Powell's Mountain; 
thence westwardly along the said ridge, to the beginning." The 
other deed, which was called the Great Grant, contained the fol- 
lowing boundaries: "All that tract, territory, or parcel of land, 
situated, lying and being in North America, on the Ohio River, 
one of the eastern branches of the Mississippi River, beginning 
on the said Ohio, at the mouth of Kentucky, Cherokee, or what 
by the English is called Louisa River; thence running up said 


river, and the most noi'thwardly fork of the same, to the head 
spring thereof ; thence a south-east course to the ridge of Powell's 
Mountain; thence westwardly along the ridge of the said mount- 
ain unto a point from which a north-west course will hit or 
strike the head spring of the most southwardly branch of Cum- 
berland River; thence down the said river, including all its wa- 
ters, to the Ohio River; thence up the said river as it meanders, 
to the beginning." The benefit of these cessions was claimed by 
the States of Virginia and North Carolina, under the Constitu- 
tions of these States, the proclamation of the King of Great 
Britain, soon after the treaty of 1763, for regulating the inter- 
course of the colonies with the Indians, and laws made in the time 
of their provincial dependence upon the crown of Great Britain. 
After the Cherokee War, which terminated by a peace made in 
1777, the boundaries agreed upon between the Cherokees and 
white people, and which were repeated, confirmed, and recog- 
nized by an Act of the Assembly of North Carolina in 1788, were 
these: "Beginning at a point on the boundary line which has 
been agreed upon by the Cherokees and colony of Virginia, 
where the line between that commonwealth and North Carolina 
shall intersect the same; running thence a right line to the north 
bank of the Holston River, at the mouth of Cloud's Creek, be- 
ing the second creek below the Warrior's Ford, at the mouth of 
Carter's Valley; thence a right line to the highest point of a 
mountain called the High Rock or Chimney Top; from thence a 
right line to the mouth of Camp Creek, otherwise called Mc- 
Name's Creek, on the south bank of the Nolichucky River, about 
ten miles, be the same more or less, below the mouth of the Great 
Limestone; and from the mouth of Camp Creek aforesaid, a 
south-east course to the top of the ridge of the mountain called 
the Great Iron Mountain, being the same which divides the 
hunting-grounds of the Overhill Cherokees from the hunting- 
grounds of the Middle Settlements ; and from the top of the said 
ridge of the Iron Mountain a south course to the dividing ridge 
between the waters of the French Broad River and the waters of 
the Nolichucky River; thence a south-westwardly course along 
the said ridge to the Great Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, 
which divides the eastern and western waters; thence with said 
dividing ridge to the line that divides the two States of North 
and South Carolina." 

32 Haywood's history of Tennessee, 

In April, in the year 1783, tlie Assembly of North Carolina, in 
the plenitude of their sovereign power, at times not less dictato- 
rial than any other sovereign power upon earth, assigned for the 
future new boundaries to the Cherokees, intending to appropri- 
ate all those lands not included within them, for redemption 
of their public debt, and to satisfy the claims which the officers 
and soldiers had upon them. These boundaries they thus de- 
fined: "Beginning on the Tennessee, where the southern bound- 
ary of North Carolina intersects the same, nearest to the Chic- 
amauga towns; thence up the middle of the Tennessee and Hol- 
ston to the middle of the French Broad River, which is not to in- 
clude any island or islands in said river, to the mouth of the Big 
Pigeon River; thence up the same to the head thereof; thence 
along the dividing ridge between the waters of the Pigeon River 
and the Tuckasejah River, to the southern boundary of North 
Carolina." All other lands claimed, whether by Cherokees or 
Chickasaws, they included, either in the bounds of the entry office 
to be kept for the sale of lands by John Armstrong, or of the office 
opened for surveying and granting the lands promised to the offi- 
cers and soldiers, or of the county offices for selling and entering 
lands. The boundaries for the military lands they established 
as follows: "Beginning at the Virginia line, where the Cumber- 
land River intersects the same; thence south fifty -five miles; 
thence west to the Tennessee River ; thence doAvn the Tennessee 
to the Virginia line ; thence with the said line east to the begin- 
ning." The bounds of John Armstrong's office were: "Begin- 
ning in the line which divides Virginia and North Carolina, at 
a point due north of the mouth of Cloud's Creek; running thence 
west to the Mississippi; thence down that river to the thirty-fifth 
degree of north latitude; thence due east until it strikes the Ap- 
palachian Mountains; thence with the Appalachian Mountains to 
the ridge that divides the waters of the French Broad River and 
the waters of the Nolichucky River; and with that ridge till it 
strikes the line established in 1777, and described in the Act of 
1778," as before stated. 

On the 2d of November, 1785, at Hopewell, on the Keowee, 
the United States of America and the Cherokees concluded a 
treaty, in which the Cherokee boundaries are declared to be as 
follows: "Beginning at the mouth of Duck River^ on the Tennes- 
see; thence running north-east to the ridge dividing the waters 


running into the Cumberland from those running into the Ten- 
nessee; til ence eastwardly along said ridge to a north-east line to 
be run, which shall strike the Cumberland River forty miles above 
Nashville; thence along the said line to the river; thence up the 
river to the ford where the Kentucky road crosses the river; 
thence to Campbell's line, near Cumberland Gap; thence to the 
mouth of Cloud's Creek to Holston; thence to the Chimney Top 
Mountain: thence to Camp Creek, near the mouth of Big Lime- 
stone, on Nolichucky; thence a southwardly course seven miles 
to a mountain; thence to the North Carolina line," etc. 

On the 2d of July, 1791, the United States and the Cherokee 
Nation made another treaty on the treaty ground, on the bank of 
the Holston, in which the Cherokee boundaries are agreed upon: 
"Beginning at a point where the South Carolina Indian bound- 
ary crosses the North Carolina boundary; thence north to a point 
from a line to be extended to the river Clinch, that shall pass 
the Holston at the ridge which divides the waters running into 
Little River, from those running into the Tennessee; thence up 
the river Clinch to Campbell's line, and along the same to the 
top of Cumberland Mountain; thence a direct line to the Cum- 
berland River where the Kentucky road crosses it; thence down 
the Cumberland River to a point from whence a south-west line 
will strike the ridge which divides the waters of the Cumberland 
from those of Duck River, forty miles above Nashville; thence 
down the said river to a point from whence a south-west line 
will strike the mouth of Duck River." 

By a treaty made between the United States and the Chero- 
kees, in the council house near Tellico, on the Cherokee ground, 
on the 2d of October, 1798, they ceded to the United States all 
the lands within certain specified points: "From a point on the 
Tennessee River, below Tellico Block-house, called the Wild 
Cat Rock, in a direct line to the Militia spring, near Maryville 
road, leading from Tellico; from the said spring to the Chilhowee 
Mountain, by a line so to be run as will leave all the farms on 
Nine Mile Creek to the southward and eastward of it, and to be 
continued along Chilhowee Mountain until it strikes Hawkins's 
line; thence along the said line to the Great Iron Mountain; 
and from the top of which a line to be continued in a south-east- 
wardly course to where the most southwardly branch of Little 
River crosses the divisional line to Tugulo River, from the place 

34 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

of beginning, the Wild Cat Rock, down the north-east margin 
of the Tennessee River, not including islands, to a point or place 
one mile above the junction of that river with the Clinch; and 
from thence by a line to be drawn in a right angle, until it in- 
tersects Hawkins's line, leading from the Clinch ; thence up the 
said river to its junction with Emmery River; thence up Emmery 
River to the foot of Cumberland Mountain; thence a line to be 
drawn north-eastwardly along the foot of the mountain until it 
intersects with Campbell's line." 

By a treaty made on the 27tli of October, 1805, the Cherokees 
ceded all the lands north of a line beginning at the mouth of 
Duck River; running thence up the stream of the same to the 
junction of the fork at the head of which Fort Nash stood with 
the main fork; thence a direct course to a point on the Tennes- 
see River bank, opi^osite to the mouth of Hiwassee River, pro- 
viding for certain reservations ; thence up the middle of the Ten- 
nessee, but leaving all the islands to the Cherokees, to the mouth 
of Clinch River; thence up Clinch River to the former bound- 
ary line agreed upon with the said Cherokees, making some 
reservations for the use of the Cherokees. 

By a treaty made with the Cherokees, and dated the 7th of 
Januar}", 1806, they relinquished to the United States all right, 
title, interest, or claim which they then had, or ever had, to all 
that tract of country which lies to the northward of the river 
Tennessee, and westward of a line to be run from the upper part 
of the Chickasaw Old Fields, at the upper point of an island 
called Chickasaw Island, on said river, to the most eastw^ardly 
head waters of that branch of said Tennessee River called Duck 
River, excepting two small tracts which are described in the 
treaty. And by an elucidation of this treaty, made on the same 
day, it is declared to be the intention of the Cherokees to cede 
to the United States all the right, title, and interest which the 
said Cherokee Nation ever had to a tract of C9untry contained 
between the Tennessee River and the Tennessee Ridge, which 
tract of country had, since the year 1794, been claimed by the 
Cherokees and Chickasaws; the eastern boundary whereof is 
limited by a line so to be run from the upper part of the Chick- 
asaw Old Fields as to include all the waters of Elk River; and it 
is declared that the eastern limits of said tract shall be bound- 
ed by a line so to be run from the upper end of the Chickasaw 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 35 

Old Fields, a little above the upper part of an island called 
Chickasaw Island, as will most directly intersect the first waters 
of Elk River; thence carried to the Great Cumberland Mountain, 
in which the waters of Elk River have their source; thence 
along the margin of said mountain until it shall intersect lands 
heretofore ceded to the United States at the said Tennessee 

By two treaties, one dated on the 8tli of July, 1817, the other 
on the 27th of February, 1819, the Cherokee Nation ceded to 
the United States all their lands lying east and north of a cer- 
tain line described in the treaty: "Beginning on the Tennessee 
River, at the point where the Cherokee boundary with Madison 
County, in the Alabama territory, joins the same; thence along 
the main channel of said river to the mouth of the Hiwassee; 
then along its main channel to the first hill which closes in on 
said river, about two miles above Hiwassee Old Town; thence 
along the ridge which divides the waters of Hiwassee and Little 
Tellico, to the Tennessee River at Talassee; thence along the 
main channel to the conjunction of the Cowee and Nanteyalee; 
thence along the ridge in the fork of said river to the top of the 
Blue Ridge; thence along the Blue Ridge to the Unaca turn- 
pike road; thence by a straight line to the nearest main source 
of the Chestotee; thence along its main channel to the Cata- 
houchee; and thence to the Creek boundary; it being under- 
stood that all the islands in the Chestotee, and the parts of the 
Tennessee and Hiwassee, with the exception of Jolly's Island, 
in the Tennessee, near the mouth of the Hiwassee, which con- 
stitute a portion of the present boundary, belong to the Chero- 
kee Nation; and it is further understood that the reservations 
contained in the 2d article of the treaty of Tellico, signed the 
26th of October, 1805; and a tract equal to twelve miles 
square, to be located at the first point formed by the intersec- 
tion of the boundary line of Madison County, already men- 
tioned, and the north bank of the Tennessee River, thence along 
the said line, and up the said river, twelve miles, are ceded to 
the United States, in trust for the Cherokee Nation, to be sold 
by the United States, and the proceeds vested in the stock of the 
United States; the interest to be applied for diffusing the ben- 
efits of education amongst the Cherokees; and also the rights 
vested in the Unaca Turnpike Company by the Cherokee Nation 

36 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

are not to be affected by tliis treaty." This cession was in full 
satisfaction of all claims which the United States had on account 
of the cession to a part of the nation, who have emigrated, or 
might thereafter emigrate, to the Arkansas, and this treaty is a 
final adjustment of that of the 8th of July, 1817. 

The Cherokee hunting-grounds had been so long exposed to 
those enemies of animal existence, powder and ball, the obvious 
but sometimes overlooked cause of the decrease of game, of In- 
dian manufactures, and of Indian population, that they no longer 
afforded a plentiful subsistence for the owners. Those who were 
still addicted to the chase resolved to remove to a country on 
White River, where their employment would be rendered more 
profitable by the greater plenty of game which they found there. 
Deputies from the Lower Towns were sent to the government of 
the United States, to make known their desire to continue the 
hunter life, and also the scantiness of game where they lived; 
and under these circumstances, their wish to remove across the 
Mississippi River, on some vacant laud of the United States; 
and the}' desired, as a part of the Cherokee Nation, for a divis- 
ion to be made of their country, so as to include all the waters 
of the Hiwassee to the Upper Towns. The President permitted 
those who wished to remove to send an exploring party to re- 
connoiter the country on the waters of the Arkansas or White 
Rivers; " the higher up the better, as they will be the longer un- 
approached by our settlements, which will begin at the mouths 
of these rivers. The regular districts of the government of the 
United States were already laid off to the St. Francis. When 
these parties," said the President, "shall have found a tract of 
country suiting the emigrants, and not claimed by other Indians, 
we will arrange with them, and give in exchange that, for a just 
portion of the country they have, and to a part of which, propor- 
tioned to their numbers, they have a right. 

" Every aid toward their removal, and what will be necessary 
for them to have, will then be freely administered to them, and 
when established in their new settlements, we shall still consid- 
er them as our children, give them the benefit of exchanging 
their peltries for what they will want of our factories, and always 
hold them firmly by the hand." They explored the country ac- 
cordingly, on the west side of the Mississippi, and made choice 
of the country on the Arkansas and White Rivers, and settled 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 37 

themselves down on the United States lands, to which no other 
tribe of Indians have any just claim. They duly notified the 
President thereof, and of their anxious desire for the full and 
complete ratification of his promise, and sent on their agents to 
execute a treaty. The nation of the Cherokees then ceded to 
the United States all the lands north and east of those bounda- 
ries, which were finally adjusted and settled by the treaty of 
the 27tli of February, 1819, which have been before described. 

By a treaty with the Chickasaws, made between them and the 
United States at Hopewell, on the Keowee, near Seneca Old 
Town, on the 10th of January, 1786, their bounds were estab- 
lished as follows : Beginning at the ridge that divides the waters 
running into the Ciimberland from those running into the Ten- 
nessee, at a point in a line to be run north-east, which shall 
strike the Tennessee; thence runniog westwardly along the said 
ridge till it strikes the Ohio; thence down the southern bank 
thereof to the Mississippi; the same coiirse to the Choctaw line 
of Natchez District; thence along the said line or the line of the 
district, eastward, as far as the Chickasaws claimed on the 27th 
of November, 1782; thence the said boundary eastwardly, shall 
be the limits allotted to the Choctaws and Cherokees, to have 
and hunt on, and the land at present in the possession of the 

By a treaty made the 20th of September, 1816, the Chickasaw 
nation ceded to the United States, with the exception of certain 
reservations specified in the treaty, all right or title to lands on 
the north side of the Tennessee River and relinquished all claim 
to territory on the south side of said river, and east of a line 
commencing at the mouth of Caney Creek, running up said creek 
to its source; thence a due south course to the Ridge Path, 
commonly called Gaines's road; along said road south-west- 
wardly to a point on the Tombigbee River well known by the 
name of the Cotton Gin Port, and down the western bank of the 
Tombigbee to the Choctaw boundary. 

By a treaty made in 1818, the Chickasaws relinquished their 
title and claim to all the lands within the bounds of this State, 
and wholly extinguished and put an end to the same. 


Indian Trailers, 1690 — Abundance of Game — Hunters— Frencli Fortresses — The 
Koad of the Traders — Treaty witli the Cherokees, 1756 — Fort Loudon Built, 
1757 — Fort Chissel, 1758 — One on the North Bank of the Holston — Holston, 
Wliy so Called — War with tlie Cherokees — Fort Loudon Taken — The Garrison 
Massacred — Hunters in 1761 — Names Given to the Mountains and Water- 
courses — Old Furnaces on Clear Creek — Hunters in 1762 — Hunters in 1763 — 
Hnnters in 1764— Col. Smith, 1760— Keturned in the Fall of 1767— Christian 
and Anderson Explored the Country, 1768 — Settlements Begun, 1768, 1769 — 
Scotch Traders — Regulators — James Robertson— Lands Leased of the Indians 
— Henderson's Purchase, 1775 — Association on Watauga, 1772 — Domestic Gov- 
ernment — Commissioners — Lease Made by the Cherokees for Eight Years — 
Lease Made to Brown & Co. — Settlements Enlarged — Parker and Carter — 
Purchase in Fee by the Lessees — Deed Made by the Indians — A Great Race 
at Watauga — Indian Killed — Robertson Goes to the Indian Nation and Ap- 
peases Them — Shawnees, War and Battle — The Part Taken by James Robert- 
son — Cession of the Indians to Henderson in 1775 — Andrew Greer — Boyd's 
Creek — British Incite the Cherokees to War, 1776 — War Determined On — 
Military Officers Appointed on Watauga — Forts Built — Members Elected for 
the Convention of North Carolina — John Sevier — Battle of the Long Island — 
Expedition against the Cherokees, under Col. Christian, 1776 — Another, un- 
der Rutherford, from North Carolina — Another, under Col. Williamson, from 
South Carolina — Treaty of 1777 Made with the Cherokees — County of Wash- 
ington Erected in 1777 — Land Office Opened, 1777 — Cry Raised in the Assem- 
bly of North Carolina against Those Who Had Entered Land in the Wash- 
ington Office — Indians — Horse Thieves, Measures Taken to Expel Them — 
James Robertson, Agent to the Cherokees, Gov. Caswell's Instructions to Him 
— Shelby's Expedition against the Cherokees Commenced April, 1777 — North- 
ern Boundary Ordered to Be Extended, 1779 — Sullivan County Erected — -Ex- 
pedition under Sevier in 1779 — Battle on Boyd's Creek — Indians Incited to 
War by the British in 1780 — Scouting Companies — Bradly and Others Killed 
— Troops under Shelby Marched to North and South Carolina, 1780, and 
Others under Sevier — Post on Paccolet Taken — Battle at tiie Cedar Spring — 
Battle at Musgrove's Mill — Battle of King's Mountain. 

WHILST Dolierty in 1690, Adair in 1730, and other traders 
from South Carolina and Virginia, visited and for years 
together resided in the Cherokee country, carrying on a gainful 
commerce with the natives, it was discovered that another source 
of great profit lay within the bosom of the wilderness. The an- 
cient inhabitants had left signs of their former residence, but 
they had long since departed. The animals, freed from the pres- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 39 

euce of ferocioiTs man, fearless and undisturbed, liad securely 
propagated, and filled the wilderness with their numerous broods. 
Their flesh could be exchanged for goods of European manufact- 
ure; and their skins and furs commanded, in the markets of 
the European colonists, gold and silver. Frequently, in the 
course of one season, the industrious hunter would return with 
packages of peltry enough to bring him $1,600 or $1,700, an 
immense sum in those days, and sufficient to procure a great 
portion of the best land, and other property of the country. No 
Indians then lived on the Holston or Clinch Rivers. But all the 
waters from the Holston to the head Avaters of the Kentucky 
and the Cumberland were without a single human inhabitant.. 
The old maps of the western countries give some insight into- 
their early circumstances, in the time of the French claim to all 
the countries between the Mississippi and the Alleghany Mount- 
ains, south of the lakes of Canada. These old maps lay down 
the river Holston and call it Cherokee River. The river to the 
south of it occupies the position which the French Broad does. 
The river to the south of Holston as laid down in the old maps 
is called the Tanses or Tanasees. The Big Tennessee, below that, 
is called the Ho-go-hee-gee. Clinch is not laid down, nor is the 
Cumberland, but from other sources it is known that the French 
called the latter the Shauvanon, while the English called it the 
Shawanoe. The Indians called the Holston the Coot-cla. French 
forts are represented in these maps as standing, one at the mouth 
of the Cataway, supposed to be the Kentucky; one on the south 
of the Ohio, on the bank of the river; another at the mouth of 
the Oubach, now the Wabash, on the nortli side of the Ohio, on 
the bank; another near the junction of the Ohio with the Missis- 
sippi, on the north side of the former; another at the Chicka- 
saw BlufPs, on the Mississippi, called Prud-home; another near 
the east bank of Red River, west of the mouth of tlie Arkansas, 
and west of an old Indian village called Ackensa ; another at the 
junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. The fort was called Hal- 
abama, as well as the river. An Indian settlement below was 
called Halabamas. Bear Creek is laid down with numerous In- 
dian settlements upon it. Fifteen or sixteen miles up the Ten- 
nessee from its mouth they had another fort; and somewhere 
upon the head waters of the Tombigbee, a fort called Thoulouse. 
One of the Indian towns, eastwardly from the present site of 

40 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Natchez, is laid down by the name of Mosco. At the month of 
the Kanawha, on the north-west side of the Ohio, is a fort 
marked, called Shawnoah; one on the Illinois running into the 
Mississippi called Fort Creveceur; one on the north-western 
extremity of Michigan, called Fort Miami; and one about half- 
way up the Illinois marked Frencli fort. A nation of Indians 
called the Chevanoes is laid down as settled below the Chero- 
kees in the country adjacent to where Fort Deposit now stands, 
on the Tennessee, and southwardly of it, which is supposed to 
be the people now called the Shawnees, who may have settled 
there under the auspices of their old friends and allies the Cher- 
okees, after the expulsion of the Shawnees from the Savannah 
River. This conjecture is fortified by the circumstance that 
the French in ancient times called what is now the Cumberland 
by the name of the Shauvanon, on which the Shawnees were for 
many years settled. Mr. Yaughan, who lived as late as the year 
1801, in the county of Amelia, in Virginia, was employed about 
the year 1740, as a packman to go to the Cherokee Nation with 
some Indian traders. The country was then but thinly inhab- 
ited to the west of Amelia; the last hunter's cabin that he saw 
was on Otter River, a branch of Staunton, now in Bedford Coun- 
ty, Virginia. He exactly describes the different prospects of the 
mountains, the fords of the river, and the Grassy Springs at the 
present residence of Micajah Lee, now in Hawkins County, in 
East Tennessee. The trading path from Virginia, as he describes 
it, proceeded nearly upon the ground that the Buckingham road 
now runs on, and to the point where it strikes the stage road in 
Botetourt County ; thence nearly upon the ground which the stage 
road now occupies, crossing New River at the fort, at English's 
Ferry, onward to the Seven Mile Ford, on the Holston ; thence on 
the left of the line, which now forms the stage road, and near the 
river to the north fork of the Holston, and crossing the same at 
the ford, where the stage road now crosses it; and thence nearly 
upon the same ground which the stage road now occupies to Big 
Creek; thence leaving the ground that the stage road now runs 
on, and crossing the Holston at what is now called Dodson's Ford, 
three miles south-east of Rogersville; thence on by the Grassy 
Springs, the present residence of Micajah Lee, nine miles south- 
west of Rogersville; thence down the waters of the Nolichucky to 
the French Broad, and crossing the same below the mouth of 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 41 

Little Pigeon River; thence up Little Pigeon Eiver to its ford, 
thence leaving the waters of the Little Pigeon, over some small 
mountains, to Tuckaleeche Town, on Little River. This was an 
old path when he first saw it, and he continued to travel upon it, 
trading with the Indians, until the breaking out of the war be- 
tween the French and English nations about the year 1754. 

At the commencement of the French War, and in the year 
1755, when Braddock was defeated in his attempt upon Fort Du 
Quesne, the Cherokees were inimical to the English colonies. 
Gov. Dobbs, of North Carolina, deputed Capt. Wattle to treat 
with them, and also with the Catawbas. In 1756 he made 
a treaty offensive and defensive with Atta Culla CuUa, or the 
Little Carpenter, in behalf of the Cherokees; he also made a 
treaty with the Catawbas. The chief of each nation required 
that a fort should be erected within their respective countries 
for the defense of their women and children, in case the warriors 
should be called away against the French and their Indian al- 
lies. In consequence of their applications, Fort Loudon was built 
in the year 1757; a garrison was placed in it, and the Indians 
invited into it artisans, by donations of land, which they caused 
to be signed by their own chief, and in one instance by Gov. 
Dobbs, of North Carolina. The Cherokees, as late as the year 
1759, carried on war, in conjunction with the Virginians, against 
the French and such of the Indians as still adhered to their in- 
terests. After the fall of Fort Du Quesne, in November, 1758, 
French emissaries from Louisiana were sent to detacli them, if 
possible, from their connections with the English ; and their as- 
siduity and address, together with some -displeasure which the 
Cherokees had taken at the behavior of the Virginians toward 
them in conducting the war, gave to the nation a strong bias in 
favor of French propositions. Col. Bird, in 1758, marched with 
his regiment from Virginia, and built Fort Chissel, and sta- 
tioned a garrison in it: he also built a fort on the north bank of 
the Holston, nearly opposite to the upper end of the Long Island. 
It was situated on a beautiful level, and was built upon a large 
plan, with proper bastions, and the wall thick enough to stop the 
force of small cannon-shot. The gates were spiked with large 
nails, so that the wood was all covered. The army wintered 
there in the winter of 1758. There were no white settlements 
on Watauga in 1768. Watauga signifies the River of Islands, 

42 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

or the Island Eiver. The Holston River was known to the Cher- 
okees by the name of Watauga. The name was lost, and a new 
one assumed from the following circumstance. Some years be- 
fore 1758, one Stephen Holston, a resident of that part of Vir- 
ginia, which afterward bore the name of Botetourt, in his trav- 
eling excursions to the south and west, came to the head waters 
of a considerable rive]-. Allured by its inviting appearance, and 
by the fertility of the lands on its banks, and the variegated 
scenery which it presented, as also by the quantity of game 
which he saw there, he proceeded some distance down the river. 
When he returned and related to his countrymen what discover- 
ies he had made, they called the river by his name. There be- 
ing two forts. Fort Chissel and Fort Loudon, some persons were 
tempted to make settlements between them, on the AVatauga 
River, shortly before the breaking out of the Cherokee War. 
Alienated by the dexterity of French management from their 
allies, the Virginians, who took no pains to secure a continuance 
of their esteem, the Cherokees began to show their disinclina- 
tion to the English colonists in the year 1759. A body of Cher- 
okees, as well as another of Tuscaroras, had aided the colonists 
in the reduction of Fort Du Quesue. Some of the Cherokees in 
this service had lost their horses, and replaced them with oth- 
ers which they found running in the woods. This the Virginia 
colonists resented. Indeed, through the whole campaign, the 
Virginians had treated them very contemptuously. The Virgin- 
ians, as a nation, though generous, hospitable, humane, brave, 
and munificent, like many individuals of the same cast, are little 
inclined to obtain by "condescension and suavity that to which 
they are entitled by their merits. This sentiment, among those 
of the lower ranks, degenerates into rudeness. While the French 
in Louisiana, by their emissaries, were acting toward the In- 
dians in the most engaging and flattering way, and were plying 
them with the arts of seduction, the Virginians seized this occa- 
sion of the taking of the horses as a fit one to be made subservient 
to the purposes of their hatred. They fell upon the warriors, who 
were unconscious of any ofPense, murdering some and making 
prisoners of others. The excessive impolicy of this step soon 
became very apparent. A storm of indignation raged in the 
breast of every Cherokee, and burst in acts of vengeance upon 
the devoted frontiers. Gov. Littleton, of South Carolina, made 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 43 

preparations to force them into repentance for their deser- 
tion. He levied a formidable army. They sent commissioners 
to treat with him; he ordered them into the rear of his army, 
under guard for their safety, as was pretended. After arriving 
at the place of destination, they were shut up together in a hut. 
The Indians agreed that their chiefs should be retained as host- 
ages until an equal number of those who had slain the inhabit- 
ants on the frontiers should be given up in exchange for them, 
and it was further agreed that the Cherokees should seizfe and 
deliver up every white or red man coming into their country 
who should endeavor to instigate them to war against the En- 
glish colonists. The hostages were left prisoners in Fort St. 
George. No sooner had the army retired than the Cherokees 
attempted bj^ stratagem the release of the hostages. On the 16th 
of February, 1760, two Indian women appeared at Keowee, on 
the other side of the river. Mr. Doherty went out, and accosting 
them, asked what news? Oconnestota joined them, pretend- 
ing some matter of business; he drew from the fort several 
of the officers to converse with him. He requested a Avhite man 
to go W'ith him as a guide to the Governor, and they promised to 
give him a guide. He then said he wo aid go and catch his horse, 
and threw his bridle three times around his head. At this sig- 
nal twenty-five or thirty muskets were fired upon the officers 
from different ambuscades. One of them was mortally wound- 
ed, and the others of them less dangerously. The officer high- 
est in command in the fort. Ensign Milne, ordered the soldiers 
to shackle the hostages. They resisted, and killed one man on 
the spot, whereupon the garrison fell upon and killed every man 
of the hostages. In the night the fort was attacked, but with- 
out effect. A bottle of poison was found with one of the dead 
hostages, probably intended to be dropped into the well; and 
several tomahawks were found buried in the earth. 

On the 3d of March, 1760, the Indians, to the number of two 
hundred, assaulted with musketry the fort at Ninety-six, but 
made not the least impression; and were obliged to retire with 
loss, burning and ravaging all the plantations within their reach 
on the frontiers of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virgin- 
ia, and, as usual, committed the most shocking barbarities. 

Col. Montgomery, with a detachment of regular troops, joined 
by a number of provincials raised in South Carolina, entered 

44 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

the Cherokee country and destroyed all their lower towns. The 
Cherokees met him near the village of Etchoe, and treated him 
so rudely that, though he claimed the victory, he retreated to 
Fort St. George, whence he shortly afterward went to New 
York. The Cherokees, on his departure from the country, in the 
same year, 1760, invested Fort Loudon. Fort Loudon stood on 
the north side of the Little Tennessee, and about one mile above 
the mouth of Tellico, in the center of what then constituted the 
Cherokee country. They besieged it till the want of provisions 
compelled the garrison to accept the terms offered to them. 
These were a safe retreat to the settlements beyond the Blue 
Eidge. In pursuance of the agreement, the white people, after 
throwing into the river their cannon, with their small-arms and 
ammunition, except what was necessary for hunting, broke up 
the fort, and commenced their march to the settlements in South 
Carolina. They*were suffered to proceed without molestation 
about twenty or twenty-two miles, to what is now called Katy 
Harlin's Keserve. At this place, about day-break, the Indians 
fell upon and destroyed the whole troop — men, women, and chil- 
dren — except three men — Jack, Stuart, and Thomas — who were 
saved by the friendly exertions of the Indian chief called the 
Little Carpenter ; except, also, six men who were in the advance 
guard, and who escaped into the white settlements. The sur- 
render of the fort took place about the 7th of August, 1760. 
I. Christie, one of the six men who thus escaped, is yet alive, 
and resides among the Cherokees. It is said that between two 
and three hundred men, besides women and children, perished 
in this massacre. The Indians made a fence of their bones, but 
after the close of the war they were, by the advice of Conostota, 
king of the Overhill Cherokees, removed and buried for fear of 
stirring afresh the hostility of the English traders, who began 
again to visit them. 

Canada being conquered in 1760, troops could now be spared 
for the relief of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, 
on whose frontiers the Indian war raged in the most terrific 

Early in June, 1761, Col. Grant, with a strong detachment of 
regular troops, aided by the South Carolina Provincials and 
friendly Indians who had joined him, marched from Fort Prince 
George for the Cherokee towns. Near the battle-ground of the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 45 

last year the Indians met and fought him. The action com- 
menced about eight o'clock in the morning and continued until 
about eleven, when the Cherokees began to give way. They 
were pursued, and a scattering fire was kept up for five hours, 
after which Grant marched to Etchoe and burned it, as he did 
all the towns in the Middle Settlement. Their houses and their 
corn-fields were destroyed, and the whole country laid waste. 
The Cherokees sued for peace, and in the summer of 1761 the 
war was put to an end by a treaty of peace. In the course of 
the war the settlements around Fort Loudon, which were the 
only settlements of white people in what is now the State of 
Tennessee, were entirely broken up. 

In the year 1761, as soon as the state of Indian affairs would 
admit of hunting with safety in the wilderness, certain persons, 
chiefly of Virginia, hearing of the abundance of game with 
which the woods were stocked on the Western waters, and al- 
lured by the prospects of gain which might be drawn from this 
source, formed themselves into a company composed of Wallen, 
Scaggs, Blevins, Cox, and fifteen others, and came into the val- 
ley now called Carter's Valley, in East Tennessee. Part of 
these men came from Pennsylvania, the greater part from sev- 
eral counties in Virginia, contiguous to each other. 

Daniel Boone came from the Yadkin, in North Carolina, at the 
head of one of these companies, and traveled with them till 
they came as low as the place where Abingdon now stands, and 
there left them. Wallen and his associates went through the 
Mockason Gap, in Clinch Mountain; and established a station 
on Wallen 's Creek, which runs into Powell's River, now in Lee 
County, Va. There they hunted eighteen months. They named 
Powell's Mountain from seeing the name, "Ambrose Powell," 
inscribed on a tree near the mouth of Wallen's Creek, on Pow- 
ell's River. From the name given to the mountain they called 
the river "Powell's River" and the valley "Powell's Valley," 
names they have ever since retained. They named Clinch River 
and Clinch Mountain from the following circumstance: An 
Irishman was one of the company; in crossing the river he fell 
from the raft into it, and cried out, "Clinch me! clinch me!" 
meaning, lay hold of me. The rest of the company, unused to 
the phrase, amused themselves at the expense of the poor Irish- 
man, and called the river Clinch. They named the Copper 

46 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

Ridge from minerals of copperas appearance, which they found 
upon it; Newman's Eidge after a man of that name, who was 
one of the company; Wallen's Kidge from the name of Wallen, 
one of the company; also Scaggs's Ridge from a person of 
that name, who was one of the company. They then went 
through Cumberland Gap, and, wdien there, agreed that 
Wallen should name the mountain. He, having come from 
Cumberland County, Ya., gave it the name of Cumberland 
Mountain. They proceeded to the river now called Cumber- 
land, and called it North Cumberland. Fourteen miles farther 
was the Laurel Mountain, where they terminated their journey, 
having met with a body of Indians whom they supposed to be 

On the south of Rogersville, toward the southern boundary, 
is the Paint Mountain, bearing S. 60° W., and the Nolichucky, 
which runs into the French Broad. The next mountain is Bay's 
Mountain, in the same direction; next Holston; then Clinch 
Mountain; next Copper Ridge, Clinch River, Newman's Ridge, 
Powell's Mountain, and then to Virginia. Cumberland Mouut- 
ain bears N. 46° E., and between the Laurel Mountain and the 
Cumberland Mountain the Cumberland River breaks through 
the latter. At the point where it breaks through in the State 
of Kentucky, and about ten miles north of the State line, is a 
creek called Clear Creek, which discharges itself into the Cum- 
berland River, bearing north-east till it reaches the river. It 
rises between the Great Laurel Hill and the Cumberland Mount- 
ain. Its length is about fifteen miles. Not far from its head 
rises also the South 'Fork of the Cumberland, in the State of 
Kentucky, and runs westwardly. 

On Clear Creek are two old furnaces, about half-way between 
the head and mouth of the creek, which were first discovered by 
hunters in the time of the first settlements made in this country. 
These furnaces then exhibited a very ancient appearance. About 
them were coals and cinders, very unlike iron cinders, as they 
have no marks of rust, which iron cinders are said uniformly to 
have in a few years. There are likewise a number of the like 
furnaces on the South Fork, bearing similar marks, and seeming- 
ly of a very ancient date. 

One Swift came to East Tennessee in 1790 and 1791, and was 
at Bean's Station, on his way to a part of the country near which 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 47 

tliese furnaces are. He had with him a journal of his former 
transactions, by which it appeared that in 1761, 1762, and 1763, 
and afterward in 1767, he, two Frenchmen, and some few others 
had a furnace somewhere about the Red Bird Fork of the Ken- 
tiicky Kiver, which runs toward the Cumberland River and 
Mountain, north-east of the mouth of Clear Creek. He and his 
associates made silver in large quantities at the last-mentioned 
furnaces. They got the ore from a cave about three miles from 
the place where his furnace stood. The Indians becoming 
troublesome, he went ofp, and the Frenchmen who were with 
him went toward the place now called Nashville. Swift was de- 
terred from the prosecution of his last journey by the reports 
he heard of Indian hostility, and returned home, leaving his 
journal in the possession of Mrs. Renfro. The furnaces on 
Clear Creek, and those on the South Fork of the Cumberland, 
were made either before or since the time when Swift worked 
his. The walls of these furnaces, and horn buttons of Euro- 
pean manufacture found in a rock house, prove that Europeans 
erected them. It is probable, therefore, that the French, when 
they claimed the country to the Alleghanies in 1754 and prior 
to that time, and afterward up to 1758, erected these works. A 
rock house is a cavity beneath a rock jutted out from the side 
of a mountain, affording a cover from the weather to those who 
are below it. In one of these was found a furnace and human 
bones and horn buttons, supposed to have been a part of the 
dress which had been buried with the body to which the bones 
belonged. It is probable that the French who were with Swift 
showed him the place where the ore was. 

When the regiment, under the command of Col. Bird, marched 
from Virginia to the West, the frontier settlements of that col- 
ony was at Fort Lewis, which stood a few miles east of the pres- 
ent site of Salem, which is now in Botetourt County. Vaux's 
Fort, higher up the Roanoake, had been then recently taken by 
the French and Indians, and the company, of which we have 
been speaking, advanced by degrees, year after year, still farther 
into the interior. They made their first hunt in the year 1761, 
in the section of country which is now called the Blevins Set- 
tlement, in Sullivan County. They then resided on Smith's 
River, a branch of Dan, dispersed over the country that is now 
called Patrick and Henry Counties. There were no settlers at 


that time west of the Bhie Ridge, except a few men who worked 
at the lead mines. 

The next fall, which was in 1762, they hunted on the waters 
of the Clinch. They crossed the Blue Ridge at the Flower 
Gap, New River at Jones's Ford, and the Iron Mountain at the 
Blue Spring Gap. They traveled down the south fork of the 
Holston, and then, crossing the fork of the Holston, and going 
to the Elk Garden, on the waters of the Clinch, they found some 
Indian signs. They proceeded in the same direction, crossing 
Clinch River to the Hunter's Valley, so named from their trav- 
eling to and down it. They traveled down the valley seven or 
eight days, about S. 60° W., to Blackwater Creek, which they 
named. They fixed their station-camp near the road that leads 
from Rogersville to Jonesville, or Ijee Court-house, in Virginia. 
There they shot bullets into a tree to try their guns. The spot 
on Avhich it stands is N. 20° W., nineteen miles from Rogers- 
ville, and about one mile north of the State line. Some of the 
company traveled down to Greasy Rock Creek, and fixed a sta- 
tion there. It stood about where the line now is between Clai- 
borne and Hawkins Counties. Here the hunters killed a great 
many bear, and their garments were very much besmeared with 
grease. At the place Avhere they went to the creek to drink, 
there is a small rock descending into the water, upon which 
they were used to lie down and drink. The rock, like their gar- 
ments, became greasy, and hence the creek took the name of 
Greasy Rock Creek. 

In the fall of the year 1763 this same company of hunters, 
with the exception of one or two who staid at home, went 
through Cumberland Gap, and hunted for the season on the 
Cumberland. In the fall of 1764 the Blevins connection made 
their fall hunt on the Rock Castle River, near the Crab Orchard, 
in Kentucky, and continued to hunt in the woods there for sev- 
eral years afterward. Daniel Boone, who then lived on the Yad- 
kin, came among the hunters to be informed of the geography and 
locography of tbese woods, saying he was employed to explore 
them by Henderson & Co. Henry Scaggins was afterward em- 
ployed by them to explore the country on the banks of the Cum- 
berland, and fixed his station at Mausco's Lick. About the last 
of June, 1766, Col. James Smith, late of Bourbon County, in 
Kentucky, set off to explore the great body of rich lands which 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 49 

by conversing with the Indians he understood to be between the 
Ohio and Cherokee Rivers, which the Indians had then lately 
ceded by treaty, made with Sir William Johnston, to the King of 
Great Britain. He went in the first place to the Holston River, 
and thence traveled westwardly, in company with Joshua Hor- 
ton, Uriah Stone, and William Baker, who came from near Car- 
lisle — four in all^ — and a mulatto slave about eighteen years of 
age, which Mr. Horton had with him. They explored the coun- 
try soutli of Kentucky, and no vestige of any white man was to 
be found there, more than there now is west of the head waters 
of the Missouri. They also explored the Cumberland and Ten- 
nessee Rivers, from Stone's River down to the Ohio. Stone's 
River is a fourth branch of the Cumberland, and empties into it 
eight or ten miles above Nashville. These travelers so named 
it in their journal, after one of themselves, Mr. Uriah Stone; 
and ever since that time it has retained the name. When they 
came to the mouth of the Tennessee, Col. Smith concluded to 
return home, the others to proceed to the Illinois. They led his 
horse to the Illinois, as it was difficult to travel him through the 
mountains. They gave to Col. Smith the greater part of their 
ammunition, which amounted to half a pound of powder and a 
proportionate quantity of lead. Mr. Horton also left with him 
the mulatto boy, and Smith set olf with him through the wilder- 
ness for Carolina. Near a buffalo path they made them a shel- 
ter; but, fearing the Indians might pass that way and discover 
his fire-place, he moved to a greater distance from it. After 
remaining there six weeks he proceeded on his journey, and ar- 
rived in Carolina in October. He thence traveled to Fort Chis- 
sell, where he left the mulatto boy at Mr. Horton's negro quar- 
ters. He thence proceeded to Mr. George Adams's, ou Red 
Creek, and returned home to Conecocheague in the fall of 1767. 
Attached to the regiment of Col. Bird, in the time of the 
French War, were Gilbert Christian and William xlnderson, who 
were both i3leased with the appearance of the country they had 
seen, and wished to explore it more carefully after they had re- 
turned from service. They engaged John Sawyer (now Col. 
Sawyer), of Knox County, in East Tennessee, to accompany 
them in this tour through the wilderness. They, in company^ 
with four others, making seven in all, in the year 1768 left the 
county of Augusta, in Yirginia, and traveled to the waters of 

50 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

the Holston. They traversed the country from the Holston to 
the Clinch Mountain, and down it. 

In the month of February, in the year 1769, they crossed the 
North Fork of the Holston at the same place where the ford now 
is, above the mouth of the river, and pursued their usual mode 
of traveling till they came as low as Big Creek, now in Hawkins 
County, where they found themselves in the hunting-grounds of 
a large party of Indians. They turned about and went back up 
the river ten or fifteen miles, and concluded to return home. 
After th-ey had crossed the north fork, going home, about twen- 
ty miles above the crossing-place there was a cabin on every spot 
where the range was good, and where only six weeks before 
nothing was to be seen but the howling wilderness. When they 
passed by before, on their outward destination, they found no 
settlers on the waters of the Holston, save three families on the 
head springs of the rivers. Thus East Tennessee began to be per- 
manently settled in the winter of 1768-69. Ten families of these 
settlers came from the neighborhood of the place where Raleigh 
now stands, in North Carolina, and settled on the Watauga. 
This was the first settlement in East Tennessee. Soon after- 
ward it was augmented by settlers from the hollows in North 
Carolina and from Virginia. About the years 1768, 1769, 1770, 
such was the reigning fashion of the times as eminently promoted 
the emigration of its people from North Carolina. The trade of 
the country was in the hands of Scotch merchants, who came in 
shoals to get rich and to get consequence. The people of the 
country were clothed in the goods they imported, and to be 
dressed otherwise was scouted as a sign of barbarity and pover- 
ty. The poor man was treated with disdain, because unable to 
contribute to their emoluments. He was excluded from their 
society, unless when he was to be reminded of his insignificance, 
and to be told with brutal freedom of the low rank which he 
held. The rich were led into extravagant modes of living, far 
beyond what their incomes could support. Labor was pro- 
scribed as fit only for the degraded and vulgar, and every man 
in the country, of any standing, vied with his neighbor , in the 
splendor of his appearance, in the expenditures of his family, 
and in the frivolous amusements with which he passed his time. 
These traders were taken for a superior class of beings; their 
dress was imitated, their manners, their amusements, even their 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 51 

hobbling gait and broad accent. The very women o£ the coun- 
try believed that there was no dignity but in a connection 
with them. The Governors of the province were alternately 
Scotch or English who favored their pretensions. The members 
of the council were chiefly Scotch, and the members of the As- 
sembly also. To supply the means for the expensive living 
w^hich was then fashionable clerks of courts and lawyers de- 
manded exorbitant fees for their services. The great excellency 
of a clerk consisted in making out the highest bill of costs, and 
yet keeping within the pale of the law. All sums over forty shil- 
lings wei'e sued for and recovered in courts of record. The bus- 
iness was immense, and the extortions of clerks, lawyers, and 
tax-gatherers fell w^ith intolerable weight upon the people. 
Sheriffs, in the collection of taxes, exacted more than was due, 
and appropriated the surplus to their own use. The offenders 
were the men in power, who were appointed by the law to re- 
dress the wrongs of the people. Those who were injured met 
and petitioned the Legislature for relief, and made representa- 
tions of the malpractice which they had suffered. Their peti- 
tions were rejected and treated with disdain. Driven by op- 
pression to desperation and madness, the people rose in bodies, 
under the title of "Regulators." 

The royal forces, under the command of Gov. Tryon, met 
the "Regulators" near the Great Alardance, on the 16th of May, 
1771, and defeated them, killing above two hundred of them on 
the field of battle. Some of them were taken by the victors and 
hanged; others took the oath of allegiance, and returned home; 
others fled to Holston, where the dread of British power, at a 
subsequent period, made them tories. In these afilicting cir- 
cumstances it became necessary for men of property to come to 
the westward in quest of the means to repair the dilapidations 
of their broken fortunes, and for the poor to go somewhere in 
search of independence and a share of respectability, absolutely 
unattainable in the country of their nativity. In the wilderness 
beyond the mountains they were promised at least exemption 
from the supercilious annoyance of those who claimed a pre- 
eminence above them. Under these incentives, full streams of 
emigration began to flow in various directions from the misgov- 
erned province of North Carolina. The day of retribution was 
not far behind, and when it came in the dawn of the revolution. 


the enraged populace, ever prone to extremes, exhibited many 
of those models of excellence in match coats of tar and feathers, 
which frequently they were hardly restrained from decorating 
with the illumination of liquid flame. Is it meant to applaud 
such violence? No^ but to hold it in abhorrence. Yet candor 
is obliged to confess that as in every other misfortune there is 
some speck of consolation, so also there was one in this: that if 
the rude fury of the people must fall somewhere, it did not upon 
this occasion miss the most deserving candidates for popular 
distinction. When the oath of allegiance to the new State gov- 
ernment was offered to the people of North Carolina, as a test 
of distinction between the friends of the new State wdio would 
take it and its enemies who would not, this whole body of men, 
with very few exceptions, who had so lately been the tyrants of 
the country, refused to take the oath and left the United States. 
Amongst others who had withdrawn from the oppression which 
they had made fashionable was Daniel Boone, from the Yadkin, 
who removed in 1769 or 1770; and James Eobertson, from Wake 
■ County, in North Carolina, early in 1770, He is the same per- 
son who will appear hereafter by his actions to have merited all 
the eulogium, esteem, and affection which the most ardent of 
his countrymen have ever bestowed upon him. Like almost all 
those in America who have ascended to eminent celebrity, he 
had not a noble lineage to boast of, nor the escutcheoned armo- 
rials of a splendid ancestry. But he had what was far more 
valuable — a sound mind, a healthy constitution, a robust frame^ 
a love of virtue, an intrepid soul, and an emulous desire for hon- 
est fame. He visited the delightful country on the waters of the 
Holston, to view the new settlements which then began to be 
formed on the Watauga. When he came to the Watauga, in 
1770, he found one Honeycut living in a hut, who furnished him 
with food for his subsistence. He made a crop this year on the 
Watauga. On recrossing the mountains he got lost for some 
time, and, coming to a precipice over which his horse could not 
be led, he there left him and traveled on foot. His powder was 
wetted by repeated showers of rain, and was so spoiled that 
he could not use it for the purpose of procuring game for his 
food. For fourteen days he wandered without eating, till he was 
so much reduced and weakened that he began seriously to de- 
spair of ever returuing to his home again. But there is a prov- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 53 

idence which rules over the destinies of men, and preserves them 
to run the race which is appointed for them. Unpromising as 
were the expectations of James Robertson at that time, having 
neither learning, experience, property, nor friends to give him 
countenance, and with spirits drooping under the pressure of 
penury and a low estate, yet the God of nature had given him an 
elevated soul, and planted in it the seeds of virtue, which made 
him in the midst of discouraging circumstances look forward to 
better times. He was accidentally met by two hunters, on whom 
he could not, without much and pressing solicitation, prevail so 
far as to be permitted to ride on one of their horses. They gave 
him food, of which he ate sparingly for several days, till both 
his strength and spirit returned to him. This is the man who, 
in the sequel of this history, will figure so deservedly as the 
greatest benefactor of the first settlers of the country. He 
reached home in safety, and soon afterward returned to the Wa- 
tauga, with a few others, and there settled. Boone had been 
there at an earljer period, and was then there also. Robertson 
and sixteen others, in 1772, entered into a covenant with each 
other to purchase lands of the Indians, if they cotild do so upon 
reasonable terms. They did not complete the covenant amongst 
themselves, which Boone communicated to Henderson, and it 
eventuated in the formation of a company by Henderson, who 
actually made a purchase in 1774 and 1775. 

Some transient persons who had come to the Watauga previ- 
ously to Robertson, intending to become residents there, were 
men of bad character; others, again, were men of industrious 
habits and of honest pursuits, who sought for good lands to re- 
ward their toils in the tillage of the earth. Soon afterward some 
arrived who had fled from oppression, in the character of "Reg- 
ulators;" some came thither who had withdrawn from the de- 
mands of public justice in their own country, and sought the 
most remote and inaccessible frontiers that they could find. 
Afraid of their own government and of the rewards due to their 
demerits, and unwilling to trust themselves among the savages 
for fear of the punishment for offenses like those which had 
driven them from the bosom of civilization, they herded togeth- 
er in the wilderness, and involuntarily rendered to their country 
a beneficial service, which in no other way could have been ex- 
tracted from them. They formed a barrier on the frontier be- 

54 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

tween tlie savages and the iudustrioiis cultivators of the soil. As 
society gathered around them in their new situation they again 
inquired for new frontiers, and established new stations, to be 
resorted to by a feeble population but just commencing. A part 
of them, unable to abandon the practice to which long usage had 
naturalized them, retreated into inaccessible parts of the mount- 
ains, and there settled for some time in the enjoyment of their 
darling occupation. When the inhabitants first settled that part 
of East Tennessee now composing the counties of Sullivan and 
Hawkins, on the north side of the Holston Eiver, they agreed 
among themselves to adhere to the government of Virginia, as 
well for protection against the Indians as against the numerous 
bands of horse-thieves who infested the frontiers at that early 
period. It was known, however, as early as the year 1771, from 
an experiment made by the late Col. Anthony Bledsoe, who was 
a practical surveyor and extended the boundary line as far west 
as Beaver Creek, nearly on the same parallel as it was afterward 
run by the commissioners mutually appointed by both States, that 
they would fall into the State of North Carolina upon the ex- 
tension of the boundary line. Those who settled on the south 
side of the Holston adhered to North Carolina, and lived with- 
out law or protection except by rules of their own adoption. 

In 1772 the settlement on the Watauga, being without gov- 
ernment, formed a written association and articles for their con- 
duct. They appointed five commissioners, a majority of whom 
was to decide all matters of controversy, and to govern and di- 
rect for the common good in other respects. The settlement 
lived under these articles for some time. James Robertson was 
one of the five commissioners. He soon became distinguished 
for sobriety and love of order, and for a firmness of character 
which qualified him to face danger. He was equally distin- 
guished for remarkable equanimity and amenity of manners, 
which rendered him acceptable to all who knew him. 

Early in 1772 the colony of Virginia held a treaty with the 
Cherokees, and agreed upon a boundary between them, to run 
west from the White Top Mountain, in latitude 36° 30'. Soon 
after this Alexander Cammeron, a deputy agent for the govern- 
ment of Great Britain, resident among the Cherokees, ordered 
the Watauga settlers to move off. Some of the Cherokees ex- 
pressed a wish that they might be permitted to stay if they 

Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 55 

would make no further encroachments. This avoided the ne- 
cessity for their removal. 

The settlers, uneasy at the precarious tenure by which they 
occupied their lands, desired to obtain a naore permanent title. 
For this purpose, in the year 1772, they deputed James Robert- 
son and John Boon to negotiate with the Indians for a lease; 
and for a certain amount in merchandise, estimated at five or 
six thousand dollars, muskets, and other articles of convenience, 
the Cherokees made a lease to them for eight years of all the 
country on the waters of the Watauga. 

In the same year Jacob Brown, with one or two families from 
North Carolina, settled on the Nolichucky River, where, keep- 
ing a small store of goods, he ingratiated himself with the In- 
dians; and made with them a contract for lands on the waters- 
of that river, similar to the former. In both instances the? 
property advanced to purchase the goods was re-imbursed by 
selling out the lands leased, in small jjarcels, to individuals for 
the time the lease was to last. 

Soon after the arrival of Mr. Robertson on the Watauga some 
persons settled in Carter's Valley, fourteen or fifteen miles above 
Mdiere Rogersville now is. All the country was then supposed 
to be a part of Virginia, and it soon became settled from the WoK 
Hills, where Abingdon, in Virginia, now is, to Carter's Valley. 
The river was deemed the boundary between North Carolina 
and Virginia, Parker and Carter opened a store in the valley, 
which the Indians robbed. When Henderson's Treaty was held 
with the Cherokees in 1774, and again in 1775, these merchants 
came to it, and demanded Carter's Valley as a compensation for 
the injury they had sustained, to extend from Cloud's Creek to 
the Chimney Top Mountain, of Beech Creek. The Indians 
were willing to give the valley, provided an additional price was 
thrown into the bargain. Parker and Carter agreed to the pro- 
posal, and took Robert Lucas in as a partner to enable them to 
advance the additional price. There were at this time three 
settlements in the country — one at Watauga, and Brown's and 
Carter's settlements. Parker and Carter leased their lands to 
job-purchasers; but, when some time afterward, it began to be 
suspected that the lands lay in North Carolina, and not in Vir- 
ginia, the purchasers refused to hold under them, and drove 
them off. Prior to this time persons immigrating to Natchez 

56 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

frequently stopped at the Holston for a year or two, cleared land, 
and made crops of corn, and disposed of tlie crops and of the 
lands on which they were made to Parker and Carter. Such 
improvements were understood by the law of Virginia to entitle 
the improvers, or their assignees, to the right of preemption. 
These rights fell to the ground the moment it was discovered 
that the lands lay in North Carolina. Parker and Carter, after 
making the purchases, usually sold to other immigrants who 
had come to reside permanently in the county, demanding a 
price for the lands and for the improvements, which conferred 
the right of pre-emption. 

When Henderson held the treaty with the Indians those who 
were seated on lands leased by the Indians purchased them, 
and paid the Indians for them. Their deed was made to Black 
Charles Robertson, in behalf of the Watauga settlers. Jacob 
Brown also purchased a tract of laud of the Indians, beginning 
at the Chimney Top, thence to Camp Creek, and to the bound- 
ary (afterward called Brown's) line, which, in 1778, was spec- 
ified in an act of the Legislature of North Carolina as the bound- 
ary between the Indians and white people. 

After the lease made by the Indians of lands on the Watauga 
a great race was agreed to be run there, at which, on the ap- 
pointed day, were numbers of persons from all the adjacent 
country. Amongst them were some Indians, drawn to the spot 
by the same curiosity which collected others there. Certain 
persons of the name of Crabtree, as was afterward suspected, 
came from the section of country in Virginia, above the Wolf 
Hills (now Abingdon), and lurked in the environs of the place 
where the race was run; and in the evening, selecting a fit op- 
portunity, fell upon and killed one of tke Indians, an act of 
great heroism in that daj^ of barbarous habits, when the unin- 
structed white man knew no other rule for the government of 
his actions but the approbation or condemnation of vulgar opin- 
ion and prejudice. The inhabitants were greatly alarmed at 
this rash act, as it immediately endangered their repose, and ex- 
posed them to the retaliating resentment of the savages in their 
neighborhood. In this state of alarm and danger James Rob- 
ertson undertook a journey to the Indian Nation to pacify them, 
and allay the irritation which this imprudent act had provoked. 
The attempt was full of hazard, and required much intrepidity. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 57 

as well as affection for the people, in him who engaged in it. 
Mr. Kobertson, however, did engage in it, and succeeded. He 
proceeded directly to the Cherokee towns, and stated to the 
chiefs and peojile that the settlers upon the Watauga viewed 
the horrid deed which had been perpetrated with the deepest 
concern for their own character; and with the keenest indigna- 
tion against the offenders, whom they meant to punish as he 
deserved whenever they could be discovered. The Indians were 
appeased by this instance of condescension in the white people, 
and of the discountenance which they gave to the miscreant. 
The settlers were saved from their fury, and Robertson began 
to be looked upon as an intrepid soldier, a lover of his country- 
men, and a man of uncommon address in devising means of ex- 
trication from difficulties. 

In the year 1774 the Shawnees and other hostile tribes north 
of the Ohio commenced hostilities and penetrated as far south 
as the section of country now called Sullivan County, in East 
Tennessee. In the month of July of this year it was announced 
that Lord Dunmore, the Governor of Virginia, had ordered an 
expedition against those Indians under the command of Col. 
Andrew Lewis. Capt. Evan Sehlby raised a company of more 
than fifty men, in Avhat are now Carter and Sullivan Counties, 
composed in part of the Robertsons and Seviers. They marched 
on the 17th of August, and joined Col. Christian on New River; 
and then proceeded to the Great Levels of the Greenbrier, 
where they joined Col. Lewis's army about the 1st of September. 
They then proceeded by slow marches, and arrived at the mouth 
of the Great Kanawha on the 6th of October, where the army lay 
apparently in a state of perfect security until the morning of the 
10th of that month, when James Robertson (afterward Gen. 
Robertson) and Valentine Sevier (afterward Col. Sevier), both 
of them sergeants at that time, went out of camp before day to 
shoot a deer, and very unexpectedly met the Indians half a mile 
from camp, advancing toward the provincials in a line from the 
Ohio back to the hills, a distance of half a mile. They were on 
the extreme left of the enemy, and fired on them at the distance 
of ten steps. As it was yet too dark to see a man distinctly at 
that distance, it caused a general halt of the enemy, while Rob- 
ertson and Sevier ran into camp and gave the alarm. Three 
hundred men were instantly ordered out to meet them — 150 

58 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

under Col. Charles Lewis, to the right, and 150 under Col. 
William Fleming, to the left, up the bank of the Ohio. They 
had scarcely progressed out of sight of the sentinels when they 
met the enemy, and a most furious action commenced. The 
provincials were re-enforced from camp, and the battle lasted 
nearly the whole day. The enemy was composed of Shawnees, 
Delawares, Mingoes, and others, and had to the number of eight 
hundred men. The provincials kept the field; their loss in 
killed and wounded beiug one hundred and sixty. The killed 
and wounded of the enemy were about the same number. Thus 
it has happened that East Tennessee, in the earliest stages of 
her infancy, has been called on to contribute all in her power 
to the common defense, and seems to have been made much 
less for herself than for the protection of her neighbors. It 
fell upon this occasion to the lot of men from East Tennessee 
to make an unexpected discovery of the enemy, and by that 
means to save from destruction the whole army of the provin- 
cials, for it was the design of the enemy to have attacked them 
at the dawn of day, and to have forced all whom they could not 
kill into the junction of the two rivers. The first Congress of 
the United Colonies was sitting in Philadelphia at the time this 
battle was fought. It had the happy effect of quelling the In- 
dians till the year 1776. Cornstalk, a chief of the Shawnees, 
commanded the combined army of Indians on that day, and on 
the whole of that day exhibited prodigies of valor; in whatever 
part of the army his voice was heard from thence immediately 
issued a thick and deadly fire. 

In April, 1775, the treaty of Henderson with the Cherokees 
was brought to a conclusion, and the cession was made which 
has already been described. Upon this occasion, and before the 
Indians had finally concluded to make the cession, one of the 
Cherokee orators, said to have been Oconostota, rose and deliv- 
ered a very animated and pathetic speech. He began with the 
very flourishing state in which his nation once was, and spoke of 
the encroachments of the white people, from time to time, upon 
the retiring and expiring nations of Indians who left their 
homes and the seats of their ancestors to gratify the insatiable 
desire of the white people for more land. Whole nations had 
melted away in their presence like balls of snow before the sun, 
and had scarcely left their names behind, except as imperfectly 


recorded by their enemies and destroyers. It was once hoped 
that they would not be willing to travel beyond the monntaius, 
so far from the ocean, on which their commerce was carried 
on, and their connections maintained with the nations of Europe. 
But now that fallacious hope had vanished; they had passed the 
mountains, and settled upon the Cherokee lands, and wished to 
have their usurpations sanctioned by the confirmation of a treaty. 
When that should be obtained the same encroaching spirit would 
lead them upon other lands of the Cherokees. New cessions 
would be applied for, and finally the country which the Cherokees 
and their forefathers had so long occupied would be called for; 
and a small remnant which may then exist of this nation, once so 
great and formidable, will be compelled to seek a retreat in some 
far distant wilderness, there to dwell but a short space of time 
before they would again behold the advancing banners of the 
same greedy host; who, not being able to point out any further 
retreat for the miserable Cherokees, would then proclaim the 
extinction of the whole race. He ended with a strong exhorta- 
tion to run all risks and to incur all consequences, rather than 
submit to any further dilacerations of their territory. But he 
did not prevail, and the cession was made. 

In 1775, in the month of November, the people of the Wa- 
tauga still lived under a government of their own appointment. 
Their committee settled all private controversies, and had a 
clerk (Felix Walker), now or lately a member of Congress from 
North Carolina. They had also a sheriff. Their committee had 
stated and regular times for holding their sessions, and took the 
laws of Virginia for the standard of decision. 

In 1775 Mr. Joseph Greer came to the settlement. After the 
conclusion of the treaty which Henderson and company made 
with the Cherokees in April, 1775, Mr. Andrew Greer, father of 
Joseph Greer, went to the Cherokee Nation and purchased furs. 
There he watched the conduct of Walker and another white 
trader, and was convinced that they intended some mischief 
should be done to him. As he returned with his furs, and came 
to a creek which is now called Boyd's Creek, he left the main 
trading path and came up the Nolichucky trace. Two persons 
from Virginia, sent by the government or some of its military 
officers (Boyd and Doggett), as they traveled on the path that 
Greer left were met by Indians at the creek, and were killed by 


them and hid in the creek. Hence the name of Boyd's Creek. 
Thus the rising ill-will of the Cherokees began to make itself 
apparent. A part of the measures of the British government, 
adopted for the subjection of America in the year 1776, was to 
arm all the adjacent Indian tribes, and to excite them to hostil- 
ities — a people whose mode of warfare was the destruction of all 
ages and sexes. "This infernal malignity," says a paper com- 
posed at the time by Col. Arthur Campbell, "of a professed 
Christian prince was reserved to be exhibited to the world in 
the reign of George III." 

The instructions of the British War Department reached the 
superintendent, John Stuart, early in the spring of this year. 
He had previously fled from his residence in South Carolina, 
and taken refuge in Florida, whence he dispatched orders to his 
deputy agents, resident with the different Southern tribes. Al- 
exander Cammeron, formerly a highland officer, who had fought 
in the late war for America, was at this time agent for the Cher- 
okee Nation. After receiving his instructions, he lost no time in 
calling together the chiefs and warriors, and made known to 
them the designs of his government. This was a phenomenon 
to the Indians, and it was with difficulty that they could be 
brought to believe that the quarrel was real, or that a part of 
the same people would be armed to destroy the other, a civil 
war being unknown among Indians who speak the same lan- 
guage. Besides, the Americans had friends in the towns, who 
endeavored to counteract the agent and gain time, that the front- 
ier inhabitants might be apprised of their danger. Eventually 
Cammeron was successful in gaining a majority of the chiefs 
and warriors to the British interests, by promises of large pres- 
ents in clothing, the plunder of the conquered country, and that 
i:)art of it which was on the Western waters to be reserved for 
their hunting-grounds. 

This formidable invasion was rendered much less destructive 
than was intended by the address and humanity of another Po- 
cahontas (Nancy Ward), who was nearly allied to some of the 
principal chiefs, obtained their plan of attack, and without de- 
lay communicated it to Isaac Thomas, her friend and a true 
American. She procured him the means to set out to the inhab- 
itants of Holston, as an express to warn them of their danger, 
which he opportunely did; and proceeded without delay to the 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 61 

Committee of Safety, in Virginia, accompanied by William Tal- 
lin as far as the Holston settlements. 

At this early period of the Kevolution the executive authority 
of Virginia was a feeble body. Unfortunately, there was not an 
experienced military character among them. They took some 
notice of the messenger, and the convention, being then in ses- 
sion, aided in forming measures to defend the country from in- 
vasion. Brown's Settlement was in part composed of tories. 
Of this circumstance he had given timely notice to Carter, who 
applied for aid to the settlements in Virginia, at the Wolf Hills, 
where Abingdon now stands. A body of men came from thence 
immediately to Brown's Settlement, and called the inhabitants 
together, who came readily, not knowing what was intended, and 
there administered to all of them an oath to be faithful to the 
common cause. After this Browm's people and those of the Wa- 
tauga were considered as one united settlement, and appointed 
all their officers as belonging to the same body. They appoint- 
ed Brown and Carter to be colonels, and Jacob Wommack a 
major. They built a fort at Gillespy's, and placed a garrison in 
it just above the mouth of Big Limestone. Upon the movement 
of the Indians afterward toward the settlements, that fort was 
broken up, and the inhabitants who lived in it retired to Wa- 

The Wommack Fort was built about the latter part of July, 
1776, east of the Holston, ten or twelve miles above the mouth 
of the Watauga. The Virginians built a fort at Heaton's Sta- 
tion. Evan Shelby erected one on Beaver Creek, two miles 
south of the State line. John Shelby, his brother, built a fort 
whilst he lived on the Holston, east of Wommack's three or four 

The united settlements elected John Sevier, Carter, Wom- 
mack, and John Hill as their representatives, and sent them to 
the convention at Halifax. They were received, and sat as 
members of the convention which established the District of 

Capt. Sevier was endowed by nature with those rare qual- 
ities which make the possessor in all places and with all people 
an object of attention and a depository of their confidenjce — 
qualities which cannot be learned, and which cannot be kept 
from observation. Whilst a resident of Virginia, in the year 

62 Haywood's history of Tennessee, 

1774, the Earl of Dunmore, then Governor of Virginia, appoint- 
ed him captain of a militia company in the county of Dunmore. 
On the 24tli of December, 1777, Governor Caswell, of North 
Carolina, gave him a commission of Lieutenant-colonel of the 
Washington Regiment of Militia, under the command of Col. 
John Carter. 

The Long Island of the Holston is about three miles in length 
in the main Holston River, just above the point where the North 
Fork joins it. In the fork between the two rivers, and about 
five or six miles above the junction, stood Heaton's Station. 
Just above the islands were flat lands, with a few bushes and 
saplings, but otherwise open, lying between the two rivers. 

The substance of the intelligence which the inhabitants of 
Holston received from Thomas and Fallin was that a body of 
seven hundred Indians had assembled, and had divided them- 
selves into two parties — one destined by way of the mountains, 
on a circuitous road, to fall on the settlements of Watauga and 
above; the other, a body of three hundred and fifty men, com- 
manded by Dragging Canoe, was ordered to break up the set- 
tlements in the fork and above, and thence to proceed north- 
wardly into Virginia. Alarmed by this information, and for 
the fate of the unprotected inhabitants, five small companies, 
raised chiefly in Virginia, assembled under their respective cap- 
tains, the eldest of whom in the commission was Capt. Thomp- 
son. They marched to Heaton's Station, where a fort had been 
built, by the advice of Capt. William Cocke, in front of the set- 
tlement, and there halted, as well to protect the people in the 
station as to procure information, by their spies and scouts, of 
the position of the enemy, of their numbers, and of their de_ 
signs, if possible. In a day or two it was ascertained that the 
Indians, in a body of three or four hundred, were actually on 
their march toward the Fork. A council was immediately held 
to determine whether it was most advisable to await in the fort 
the arrival of the Indians, with the expectation that they would 
come and attack it; or to march out in search of them, and fight 
them wherever they could be found. It was urged in council 
by Capt. Cocke that the Indians would not attack them in the 
station, inclosed in their block-houses, but would pass by them 
and fall upon the settlements in small parties ; and that, for want 
of protection, the greater part of the women and children in the 


settlements would be massacred. This argument decided the 
controversy, and it was determined to march out and meet them. 
The corps, consisting of one hundred and seventy men, marched 
from the station and took their course down toward the Long 
Island, with an advance of about twelve men in front. When 
they reached what are called the Island Flats, the advance- 
guard discovered a small party of Indians coming along the 
road meeting them, and immediately fired upon them. The In- 
dians fled, and the white people pursued for some time, but did 
not meet the enemy. A halt was then made, and the men were 
formed in a line. A council was held by the officers, in which 
it was concluded that probably they would not be able to meet 
the enemy again that day; and, as evening was drawing near, 
that it was most prudent to return to the fort. Whilst the line 
was thus formed, some persons make a remark unfavorable to 
one of the captains on the score of his personal firmness. He 
soon heard of it; and the corps having commenced its returning 
march in the same order as they had marched forward, the cap- 
tain whom the remark implicated, being at the head of the right 
line, after going a short distance, halted, and addressed the 
troops in defense of himself against the imputation. The whole 
body collected into a crowd to hear him. After the address was 
over the offended captain took the head of his line, marching on 
the road that leads to the station. But before all the troops 
had fallen into the ranks, and left the place where they had 
halted, it was announced that the Indians were advancing in 
order of battle in their rear. Capt. Thompson, the senior offi- 
cer, who, on the returning march, was at the head of the left 
line, ordered the right line to form for battle to the right, and 
the line which he headed to the left, and to face the enemy. 
In attempting to form the line, the head of the right seemed to 
bear too much along the road leading to the station; and the 
part of the line farther back, perceiving that the Indians were 
endeavoring to outflank them, were drawn off by Lieut. Eobert 
Davis as quickly as possible and formed on the right, across the 
flat to a ridge, and prevented them from getting around the 
flank. This movement of Lieut. Davis cut off a part of the 
right line, which had kept too far along the road. Some of 
them, however, when the firing began, returned to the main 
body, which was drawn up in order of battle, and a few of them 

64 hayavood's history of Tennessee. 

kept on to the station. The greater part of the officers, and not 
a few of the privates, gave heroic examples to cause the men to 
face about and give battle. Of the latter Robert Edmiston and 
John Morrison made conspicuous exertions. They advanced 
some paces toward the enemy, and began the battle by shooting 
down the foremost of them. The battle then became general. 
The most valiant of our people had to expose themselves almost 
in close quarters with the Indians to induce those men who had 
run too far to come toward the front and assist their comrades, 
and before the close of the action they generally did so. 

The Indians began the attack with great fury, as if certain of 
victory, the foremost hallooing, " The Unacas are running; come 
on and scalp them." Their first eifort was to breakthrough the 
center of our line, and to turn the left flank at the same instant. 
In both they failed of success by the well-directed fire of our ri- 
flemen. Several of their chief warriors fell, and at length their 
commander was dangerously wounded. This decided the con- 
test. The enemy immediately betook themselves to flight, leav- 
ing twenty-six of their boldest warriors dead on the field of battle. 
The blood of the wounded could be traced in great profusion in 
the direction of the enemy's retreat. Our men pursued in a cau- 
tious manner, lest tJiey might be led into an ambuscade, hardly 
crediting their own senses that so numerous a foe was completely 
routed. In this miracle of a battle we had not a man killed, and 
only five wounded, who all recovered. But the wounded of the 
enemy died till the whole loss in killed amounted to upward of 
forty. The battle lasted not more than ten minutes after the 
line was completely formed and engaged, before the Indians be- 
gan to retreat; but they continued to fight awhile in that way to 
get the wounded ofl" the ground. The firing during the time of 
the action, particularly on the side of the white people, was very 
lively and well directed. This battle was fought in the month 
of July, 1776. The consequences of victory were of some impor- 
tance to the Western inhabitants, otherwise than the destroying 
of a number of their influential and most vindictive enemies, 
and lessening the hostile spirit of the Cherokees. It induced a 
concord and union of principle to resist the tyranny of the Brit- 
ish Government. It attracted the favor and attention of the 
new commonwealth. It inspired military ideas and a contempt 
of danger from our savage enemies. The inquiry afterward,^ 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 65 

when in search of Indians, was not, "How many of them are 
there?" but, "Where are they to be found?" This spirit was 
kept up, and displayed itself on several important occasions dur- 
ing the war. 

On the same day that the battle was fought at the Flats, an- 
other body of Cherokees, who came up the Nolichucky under 
the command of Old Abraham, of Chilhowee, attacked the fort 
at Watauga, in wdiich were James Robertson (who commanded), 
Capt. Sevier, Greer, and others — forty in all. In the morning at 
sunrise they made the attack, and were repulsed by the fire from 
the fort with some loss. From that time they skulked around 
the fort for three weeks, till a party from Virginia came to the 
relief of the garrison. At Watauga the Indians took Mrs. Bean 
prisoner. Those who were pent up in the fort sent couriers to 
inform those at Heaton's Station of the dangers that encom- 
passed them. Col. Russell was ordered, with five companies of 
militia, to go to their assistance. But he was so dilatory, and 
the circumstances so pressing, that Col. Shelby, raising about 
one hundred men, went with them over to Watauga, where they 
found the inhabitants very secure in their fort, the Indians hav- 
ing retreated. In the interim Col. Russell arrived at Shelby's 
Station, and held a council of war to determine whether they 
should go to Watauga or the lower frontiers. A majority de- 
cided in favor of going to Watauga. 

During the time they were about the fort the Indians killed 
James Cooper and son and a man by the name of Tucker. 
They made captive a boy by the name of Moore, whom they }«d 
to one of their towns and burned. About the same time they 
ran up to Wommack's fort, and killed a man. A third body of 
Indians, commanded by The Raven, came up Carter's Valley. 
Finding the people alarmed and shut up in forts, they retreated, 
and went home. No force was opposed to a party of Indians 
which came up the Clinch. They destroyed and bore down all 
before them. Dividing themselves into small squadrons, they 
visited with fire and the tomahawk the whole country, from the 
lower end of what is now Sullivan County to the Seven Mile 
Ford in Virginia. The inhabitants were all shut up in forts, and 
massacres were committed every day. The government of Vir- 
ginia, indignant at aggressions so unprovoked and so offensive, 
soon acted in a manner suitable to her exalted sense of national 

66 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

honor. Col. William Christian was ordered to raise men, and 
to march them into the heart of the Cherokee settlements. The 
place of rendezvous was the Great Island of the Holston. This 
service was entered upon with the greatest alacrity, and so active 
were the exertions of the officers and men that several companies 
were at the Long Island of the Holston by the 1st of August. This 
movement drove the enemy from the settlements. By the last 
of August Col. Williams and Maj. Joseph Winston, from North 
Carolina, joined the Virginians with three or four hundred men. 
The whole army soon took up the line of march for the Chero- 
kee towns. Crossing the Holston at the Great Islands, they en- 
camped at the Double Springs, on the head waters of Lick 
Creek, about eight miles from the Great Island. There the 
army remained several days. It was joined by troops from Wa- 
tauga, below the Double Licks on Lick Creek, five or six miles be- 
low the head of the creek. The commanding officer sent off six- 
teen spi&s to go to the crossing of the French Broad River, the 
Indians having boasted that they would stop the army at the 
mouth of Lick Creek. There was a pass for the army through 
a canebrake and swampy ground for one mile. The army 
marched, nevertheless, and encamped on the other side. The 
baggage and bullocks did not get through till midnight. Alex- 
ander Harlin came that night to the army, and informed Col. 
Christian that a body of three thousand warriors lay encamped 
on the French Broad River, and would certainly there dispute 
his passage. He was ordered into camp with the spies. In the 
morning, every thing being ready for marching, the colonel 
called Harlin, and told him to inform the Indians that he (Col. 
Christian) would cross the French Broad and Tennessee both 
before he stopped. The army consisted of eighteen hundred 
men, including pack-horse men and bullock drivers, all armed. 
The troops marched to the French Broad, set the pioneers to 
work, and kindled large fires. Some time in the night a detach- 
ment of eleven hundred men crossed the river three miles below 
the encampment. The weather was cold, and the troops in cross- 
ing, getting wet, suffered considerably. The next morning the 
main body crossed the French Broad River, near the Big Island. 
They marched in order of battle, supposing that the enemy were 
now between the main body and the detachment in their rear. 
To the great surprise of the army, there were no marks of the 


Indians having been there for several vreeks. The army halted 
here that day, and on the next, in the morning, resumed its 
march for the Tennessee. It crossed the Tennessee near Tellico 
Block-house. When the troops came within seven miles of the 
Tennessee, the colonel called to the reserve companies to follow 
him in a run till they came to the river; and, pushing through, 
they took possession of a town called Tamotlee. The army and 
baggage and all that belonged to the army got safely over before 
night. The next morning they marched to the Great Island 
Town, and tarried there nineteen or twenty days. In that time 
the Indians sued for peace, and it was granted; but not to take 
place till the month of May following. Hostilities were to cease 
in the meantime on both sides, except as to two towns on the 
Tennessee, in the mountains, which had burned a prisoner. The 
troops, before the suspension of hostilities, burned Neowee, Tel- 
lico, and Chilhowee; and they then burned the excepted town, 
Tuskega, where the Indians had lately burned the boy by the 
name of Moore they had taken at Watauga. The other except- 
ed town was reduced to ashes. The army then marched to Chota, 
and, recrossing the Tennessee at the Virginia Ford, returned. 

About the same time Brig.-Gen. Rutherford, with an army 
raised in the district of Salisbury, in North Carolina, consisting 
of twenty-four hundred men, passed the French Broad at the 
mouth of the Swannanoe, and thence penetrated by a road 
since distinguished as Rutherford's Trace into the Middle Settle- 
ments and valley towns. He destroyed thirty-six towns and vil- 
lages, cut up and wasted the standing and gathered corn, and 
drove off and destroyed all the flocks of domestic animals that 
could be found. At the same time a third division, commanded 
by Col. Williamson, from South Carolina, and consisting of a 
powerful force, penetrated the settlements bordering on the 
Keowee, and destroyed the Seneca towns, at that time very nu- 
merous; wasting the Cherokee country as far as the Unaca 
Mountain, sparing or razing towns at his will. A fourth divis- 
ion, under the command of Col. Leonard McBury, entered the 
settlements on the Tugulo, and, having defeated the Indians, 
destroyed all their towns on the river. The Indians were not 
all of them sincerely willing to be at peace ; parts of the nation 
were in very ill humor, and greatly excited the apprehensions of 
their neighbors. 

68 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

On the 31st of March, 1777, Col. Arthiir Campbell, at Fort 
Patrick Henry, directed Capt. Robertson, on account of the 
weakness of the settlements below the fort, and on account of 
the danger to which they might soon be exposed, to assemble 
the settlers in one or two places, and not more; and he recom- 
mended Rice's and Patten's mills as the most proper ones. 
"Let your company be at Rice's," said he, "and Capt. Christian 
may come to the other mill." He requested a list of the set- 
tlers' names, that he might know their strength and give such 
further orders as should be necessary. These orders Capt. Rob- 
ertson received soon after his return from Wake County, in 
North Carolina, whither he had gone in the winter of 1776-77, 
to adjust his unsettled business there, and to receive from Col. 
Michael Rogers, as guardian of his brother Mark, the legacies 
and personal estate which he was entitled to under the will of 
their father. Col. Campbell held his commission under the 
State of Virginia, and he assumed the command of the Watauga 
settlements because at that time he supposed them to be within 
the limits of Virginia. 

In May, 1777, at the Long Island of the Holston, a treaty was 
held with the Indians by commissioners on the part of North 
Carolina and Virginia — on the part of North Carolina, Waight- 
still Avery, Joseph Winston, and Robert Lanier; and on the 
part of Virginia, Col. Preston, Col. Christian, and Col. Evan 
Shelby. They established Brown's line as the boundary between 
the Indians and white people, which in 1778 was inserted as 
such in an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina passed 
in this year. They transmitted the treaty to the fall session of 
1777, though no record was made of it, nor any formal ratifica- 
tion; but the boundaries were secured to and recognized in the 
public act aforesaid, as established by treaty. Several mas- 
sacres having been committed by the Indians during the sus- 
pension of hostilities, the commissioners accused them of the 
perpetration of these acts and reproached them with a breach 
of faith. They laid them to the charge of the Chickamaugas, 
the name by which those Cherokees have been called who set- 
tled on the creek of that name, with "Dragging Canoe" refus- 
ing to accept peace on the terms which Col. Christian had of- 
fered. The treaty, proceeded, however, and the Indians resigned 
their lands as far as to the mouth of Cloud's Creek. The com- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 69 

missioners agreed to give them two hundred cows and calves 
and a large number of sheep, which, at the request of the In- 
dians, were exchanged for goods; and the articles of the treaty 
were accommodated to the exchange. Tlie Virginia commis- 
sioners signed the treaty, but those from North Carolina refused 
to do so, no doubt believing at the time that the greater part of 
the settlements were in Virginia. The delivery of the goods and 
cattle was of course made by the government of Virginia. 

In the month of April, 1777, the Assembly of North Carolina 
passed an act for the encouragement of the militia and volun- 
teers in prosecuting the remnant of the war with that part of 
the Cherokees which yet kept up hostilities. At the same time 
they passed an act for the establishment of courts of pleas and 
quarter sessions, and also for appointing and commissioning 
justices of the peace and sheriffs for the several courts in the 
district of Washington, in this State. 

In the month of November, of the year 1777, the Assembly 
of North Carolina erected the district of Washington into a 
county, giving it the same boundaries as had been assigned to 
the district of Washington : "Beginning at the north-westwardly 
point of the county of Wilkes, on the Virginia line; thence with 
the line of Wilkes County to a point twenty-six miles south of 
the Virginia line; thence due west to the ridge of the Great Iron 
Mountain, which heretofore divided the hunting-grounds of the 
Overhill Cherokees from those of the Middle Settlements and 
valley; thence running a southwardly course along the side 
ridge to the Unaca Mountain, where the trading path crosses 
the same from the valley to the Overhills; thence south with the 
line of this State, adjoining the State of South Carolina; thence 
due west to the great river Mississippi; thence up the same riv- 
er to a point due west from the beginning." They also, at the 
same session, appointed commissioners to lay off and mark a 
road from the court-house in the county of Washington through 
the mountains into the county of Burke. At the same time the 
land office was opened, amongst others, for the county of Wash- 
ington, at the rate of forty shillings per hundred acres. Each 
head of a family was permitted to take up six hundred and forty 
acres himself, and one hundred acres for his wife and each of his 
children. The law was so worded as not to oblige the Watauga 
people to enter and pay for their occupancies till January, 1779; 

70 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

and then for any surplus entered above the quantity before men- 
tioned the purchaser was required to pay £5 per hundred acres. 
Great numbers of persons came to Holston from the eastern 
parts of North Carolina to enter land. Those who had made 
locations would not sell them, and the entries coiild not be made 
without them. 

The militia of Washington were all in the service of the State, 
under the provisions of the law just mentioned "for encourag- 
ing the militia and volunteers to prosecute the war against the 
Indians," and they continued in service the greater part of the 
year. By their pay they were enabled, when the land office 
was opened, to purchase the lands which they wished to secure. 
The land jobbers from below could only obtain a few locations 
from the Indian traders, and returned home exceedingly dis- 
pleased. Their clamors were sonorous and grievous, and com- 
municated to the Assembly the feelings of the complainants. 
They, in April, 1778, declared void all entries of land which had 
been made in the counties of Burke and Washington, within the 
Indian boundaries, and ordered the entry-takers for those coun- 
ties to refund to the jjroi^er persons all moneys by them received 
for such entries. The outcry which the disappointed land job- 
bers made was loud and vehement against those who had entered 
lands in the county of Washington, charging them with having 
covered the Indian towns with their entries in numerous instances, 
and with an exclusive connection formed between them and some 
of the most influential characters of that day in the interior. The 
Assembly, in this crisis of fermentation, recollected -the Long Isl- 
and treaty of 1777, recurred to it, and included it in one of their 
acts, to show where was the Indian boundary which should not be 
transcended. It is not intended to censure their conduct on this 
occasion, but here is a proper opportunity offered for a remark 
which ought not to be omitted. Public legislative bodies are eas_ 
ily excited by misrepresentations, which are sometimes artfully 
fabricated with design to precipitate them into rash measures, 
and thus to accomplish the purposes of the contriver. When 
there is no other branch of the government to curb their excess- 
es, it behooves a member of prudence to moderate his temper, 
and to delay the ultimate decision as long as possible, in order 
to give time for passion to subside and reason to resume her 
place. He who learns thus to act with dexterity has acquired a 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 71 

very essential part of that learning which qualifies for the per- 
formance of legislative duties. 

Through the year 1777 scouting parties of Indians upon the 
frontiers occasionally killed and plundered the inhabitants, and 
were pursued by the rangers on the frontiers who were placed 
there by the government to scour them, and to pursue and dis- 
perse small companies of ill-disposed Indians who might be 
found hovering on the borders of the settlements. So well were 
the frontiers guarded by the militia kept in actual service by the 
State of North Carolina that the Indians for some time consid- 
ered their incursions as perilous to themselves as they could be 
to the white inhabitants, and for a great part of the year 1778 
forbore to make them. But in this year, a part of the militia 
being disbanded and their vigilance relaxed, Indian depredations 
and massacres soon recommenced, and in addition to the evils 
which they inflicted the horse-thieves and tories had become so 
numerous that they did not scruple to boast of their superior 
strength, and to threaten destruction to every one who should 
oppose them. The better disposed part of the community met 
and chose a committee to take such measures as they might 
think proper to suppress the lawless band. The committee met 
in November, and appointed two companies of thirty men each 
to patrol the whole country, and to put to death every suspicious 
character who attempted to oppose them and should refuse to 
give security for his appearance before the next committee in 
December. Six or seven leaders of the horse-thieves were shot, 
and others bound over to appear before the committee, who fined 
some heavily, acccording to their crimes, and ordered others who 
were unable to pay to receive corporal punishment in the same 
proportion. By these measures the country in less than two 
months was placed in a state of quietude and safety, and those 
severe punishments ceased entirely. All those tories joined the 
enemy's standard as soon as he approached the mountains, and 
the country became happily freed from their presence. 

Gov. Caswell calculated that when the militia were withdrawn 
the Indians might be kept in peace by the good offices of the 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs. To that end, on the 16th of 
October, 1778, he transmitted his written instructions to Capt.. 
Robertson, stating to him that, in pursuance of a resolution by 
the General Assembly, the Governor had made a talk for 

72 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

"Raven of Chota" and his nation, to be delivered, according to 
the resolution, by Col. McDowell and Maj. Robertson. He ac- 
knowledged the receipt of a former letter from Capt. Robert- 
son, with the talk of Savanuca. "Let him know," said he, "that 
I am pleased with it, and wish to keep up a friendly correspond- 
ence with him; that I shall use every means in my power to keep 
the peace between us free from the least breach, and that ade- 
quate punishment shall be inflicted on all offenders against it. 
If any of their people be kept in captivity by our people, I shall 
be glad to be informed where they shall be restored." The 
Governor further informed Capt. Robertson that the resolution 
before mentioned had also directed that Capt. Robertson, as su- 
perintendent, in order to render that service to the State which 
was expected, should reside in the Cherokee Nation during his 
continuance in office. 

Early in the year 1779 "Dragging Canoe" and his party 
at Chickamauga had become very numerous and composed a 
banditti of more than one thousand warriors, collected from al- 
most every hostile tribe on the waters of the Ohio and from the 
Chickamauga. They committed more depredations on the front- 
iers from Georgia to Pennsylvania than all other hostile tribes of 
Indians together; so that the two governments of North Caro- 
lina and Virginia in conjunction ordered a strong expedition 
against them, under the command of Col. Evan Shelby, of one 
thousand men, composed of militia from the two States, and a 
regiment of twelve months' men, under the command of Col. 
John Montgomery, destined to re-enforce Gen. Clarke at the Illi- 
nois, who had taken possession of that place the fall preceding. 
At this period the two governments were much straitened in 
their resources, on account of the existing War of the Revolu- 
tion, and were unable to make any advances for supplies or 
furnish transportation necessary for this campaign. All these 
were procured by thQ indefatigable exertions and on the individ- 
ual responsibility of Isaac Shelby. The army rendezvoused at 
the mouth of Big Creek, about four miles above where Rogers- 
ville, in Hawkins County, now stands, and embarked in pirogues 
and canoes, about the 10th of April, from that place. The troops 
descended so rapidly as completely to surprise the enemy, who 
fled in all directions to the hills and mountains without giving 
battle. The whites pursued, and hunted them in the woods and 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 73 

killed upward o£ forty of them, burned their towns, and de- 
stroyed their corn and every article of provision, and drove away 
their great stocks of cattle. This event happened at the time 
when Gen. Clarke captured the British Governor, Hamilton, and 
his suite at Vincennes, to w^hich place he had advanced from De- 
troit, with the avowed intention of forming a grand coalition be- 
tween all the Southern and Northern tribes of Indians, to be aided 
by British regulars, who were to advance as soon as the season 
opened for active movements, and were to drive all the settlers 
from the Western waters. But the two occurrences last men- 
tioned gave peace to the Western settlements during the sum- 
mer and fall of that year. And during this interval such a 
current of population poured into Kentucky and into the settle- 
ments on the Holston as gave a permanency to the establish- 
ments in the two countries which no efforts of the Indians and 
British could ever break up. This service being performed, 
Evan Shelby ordered the troops to return home, marching on 
foot by land. They were in great want of provisions, which 
could only be procured by hunting and killing game. As they 
returned a part of them came by the place now called the Post 
Oak Springs, in Roane County, crossed Emmery's River just 
above the mouth, Clinch River not far above the mouth, and the 
Holston some distance above the mouth of the French Broad. 
Mr. Dowdy on his return found a lead mine, the particulars rel- 
ative to winch he will not detail. 

The Assembly of North Carolina, in their October session, 
1779, which terminated some time in the following months of 
November or December, erected the county of Sullivan. The 
act for that purpose recites the then late extension of the north- 
ern boundary line of the State, saying that it had never until 
lately been extended by actual survey farther than to that part 
of the Holston River that lies directly west from a place well 
known by the name of Steep Rock. And it says that all the 
lands westward of the said place, lying on the north and north- 
west side of the said River Holston, have, by mistake of the 
settlers, been held and deemed to be in the State of Virginia, 
owing to which mistake they have not entered the said lands in 
the proper offices. It recites also that by a line lately run 
(meaning, without doubt, that run by Henderson and Walker) 
it appears that a number of such settlers have fallen into this 

74 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

State. It makes provision for securing their lands, plantations, 
and improvements. Sullivan County is made to begin on Steep 
Rock; thence along the dividing ridge that separates the wa- 
ters of the Great Kanawha and Tennessee, to the head of In- 
dian Creek; thence along the ridge that divides the waters of 
the Holston and Watauga; thence in a direct line to the high- 
est part of Chimney Top Mountain, at the Indian boundary. 
Sullivan County is that part of Washington County which late- 
ly was on the north side of the line. Isaac Shelby was appoint- 
ed to command the regiment of militia in this county. 

In the year 1779 two traders, Thomas and Harlin, came from 
the Indian towns, and informed the people on the Nolichucky 
(which was then a frontier) that the Cherokees had resolved to 
go to war, and were preparing to march upon the inhabitants. 
Col. Sevier gave immediate notice to Col. Arthur Campbell, of 
Virginia, and obtained from him a promise of assistance. Col. 
Sevier ordered the militia of his county forthwith to assemble on 
Lick Creek, of Nolichucky River. Two hundred men assembled 
in a few days at the place. They thence marched to Big Creek, 
which discharges itself into Broad River. The spies were sent 
up Long Creek, of the Nolichucky, to the head, and thence down 
a creek which empties into the French Broad. In going down 
the latter creek they met a party of Indians, who fired upon 
them. The spies returned to the army on Long Creek. The 
next morning at break of day they went up Long Creek, and 
crossed the French Broad at Sevier's Island and encamped on 
Boyd's Creek. The next day, early in the morning, the advance- 
guard, under the command of Capt. Stinson, marched up Boyd's 
Creek; and, at the distance of three miles, found the encamp- 
ment of the Indians, and their fires burning. A re-enforcement 
was immediately ordered to the front, and the guard was direct- 
ed, if it came up with the Indians, to fire upon them and retreat, 
and draw them on. Three-quarters of a mile from their camp 
the enemy fired upon the advance from an ambuscade. It re- 
turned the fire and retreated, and, as had been anticipated, was 
pursued by the enemy till it joined the main body. This was 
formed into three divisions — the center commanded by Col. 
John Sevier, the right wing by Maj. Jesse Walton, and the left 
by Maj. Jonathan Tipton — and it was ordered that so soon as 
the enemy should approach the front the right wing should 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 75 

wheel to the left and the left wing to the right, and thus inclose 
them. In this order was the army arranged when they met the 
Indians at Cedar Spring, who rushed forward after the guard 
with great rapidity till checked by the opposition of the main 
body. Maj. Walton, with the right wing, wheeled briskly to the 
left, and performed the order which he was to execute with pre- 
cise accuracy; but the left wing moved to the right with less 
celerity, and when the center fired upon the Indians, doing im- 
mense execution, the latter retreated through the unoccupied 
space which was left open between the extremities of the right 
and left wing; and, running into a swamp, escaped the destruc- 
tion which otherwise seemed ready to involve them. The loss 
of the enemy amounted to twenty-eight killed on the ground 
and very many wounded, who got off without being taken. On 
the side of Sevier's troops not a man was even wounded. The 
troops under his command then returned to Great Island, in the 
French Broad River (otherwise called Sevier's Island), and wait- 
ed there for the arrival of the troops from Virginia and the 
county of Sullivan. 

Col. Arthur Campbell, with his regiment from Virginia, and 
Col. Isaac Shelby, with his troops from Sullivan, joined Sevier 
in a few days in the month of September. The whole army 
then consisted of five or six hundred men, and, on the fifth day 
after the skirmish up Boyd's Creek, marched to the battle- 
ground ; thence to Little River, Town Creek, Piston Creek, Nine 
Mile Creek, and the Tennessee River, which they crossed at the 
Virginia Ford, and into the town of Tamotlee; thence to the 
Tellico; thence to the waters of the Hiwassee; and thence to the 
river, which they crossed at the town of Hiwassee. The town 
was evacuated, and the troops saw but one Indian, who was 
placed on the summit of a ridge there to beat a drum, and give 
signals to the other Indians. The spies of the whites stole on 
him, and shot him. The American army then marched south- 
wardly till they came near to the Chickamauga or Lookout 
towns, where they encamped; and the next day marched into 
the towns, where they took a Capt. Rogers, four negroes, and 
one squaw and children. They then marched to the waters of 
the Coosa, by Vann's Town; thence by Old Shoemack Town; 
and then returned home by the same route they had come. 
These operations checked the Cherokees for some time. The 


American troops killed all their stock of cattle and hogs which 
could be found, burned many of their towns and villages, and 
spread over the face of the country a general devastation, from 
which they could not recover for several years. 

In the spring of the year 1780 the agents of the British Gov- 
ernment held conferences with the Indians at Augusta, the con- 
sequences of which was that war broke out generally with the 
Southern Indians in a subsequent part of the year. The In- 
dians attacked a house called Boilston's, killing two men, Will- 
iams and Hardin. Four Indians were killed and a number 
wounded. Doherty (now Gen. Doherty), Joseph Boyd, and 
others pursued, but did not overtake them. 

The misfortune sustained by the American armies at Camden 
in August, 1780, created upon the Holston, as well as in other 
parts of the Southern States, a number of avowed enemies, who 
before had worn the mask of friendship. The tories upon the 
waters of the Holston were now as dangerous and as hurtful as 
the Indians. To watch their motions, as well as those of the 
Indians, it became necessary to keep up constantly scouting 
companies of armed men. One of these killed Bradley, a tory. 
He was a notorious offender, who had often been imprisoned for 
his misdeeds in the jail of the District of Halifax, in North 
Carolina; and had given himself the name of "Honest" Jim 
Bradley, by wdiich also others, by way of derision, called him. 
In the same year one Dykes, a tory, was taken by the Light 
Horse Company, there being one in each county of the State of 
North Carolina to apprehend tories, and to take and bring to 
the army drafted militia-men who deserted. The company, ac- 
quainted with his desperate character, hanged him. He and 
others had agreed to come from the frontier to the house of 
Col. Sevier, and to put him to death. Of this agreement the 
wife of Dykes gave information to Sevier, who, in the time of 
her distress, had treated her with great humanity and friend- 
ship. Halley and others were confederates with Dykes. Rob- 
ert Sevier, who afterward fell at the battle of King's Mountain, 
collected his company of horsemen, caught Halley, and shot 
and killed both him and James Bradley at the same time. 

The people of Washington and Sullivan Counties had not 
only to defend themselves from the Indians, but were called by 
the difficulties of the times and the dangers which threatened 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 77 

the western counties of North Carolina to carry on a more dis- 
tant warfare. 

On the 16th of June, 1780, Col. Isaac Shelby, being in Ken- 
tucky, locating and surveying lands which he had marked out 
aud chosen five years before, received information of the fate of 
Charleston and of the surrender of the main Southern army; 
and forthwith he returned home to aid his country in the great 
struggle she maintained for independence. Arriving in Sullivan 
County early in July, he received a dispatch from Col. Charles 
McDowell, giving information that the enemy had overrun the 
two Southern States and were approaching the limits of North 
Carolina; and Col. Shelby was requested to bring to his aid all 
the riflemen that he possibly could, and with as much dispatch 
as possible. In a few days Col. Shelby marched from Sullivan 
at the head of two hundred mounted riflemen, and joined Mc- 
Dowell's camp near the Cherokee Ford of Broad River, in South 
Carolina; Lieut. -Col. John Sevier, of whom a like requisition 
was made, having arrived there with his regiment a few days be- 
fore. Shortly after the arrival of Col. Shelby, Col. McDowell 
detached him and Col. Sevier and Col, Clarke, of Georgia, with 
about six hundred men, to surprise an enemy's post, twenty odd 
miles in his front on the waters of Paccolet River. They marched 
at sunset and surrounded the post at day-break the next morn- 
ing. This was a strong fort, built during the Cherokee War — 
about seven years before — and was surrounded by a strong aba- 
tis, and was commanded by Capt. Patrick Moore, a distinguished 
loyalist. Col. Shelby sent in William Cocke, Esq., to make a 
peremptory demand for the surrender of the post, to which Moore 
replied that he would defend the post to the last extremity. 
Shelby then drew in his lines to within musket-shot of the en- 
emy all around, determined to make an assault upon the post. 
But before proceeding to extremities, he sent in a second mes- 
sage; to which Moore replied that he would surrender upon 
condition that the garrison be paroled, not to serve again during 
the war, unless exchanged. This proposal was acceded to. In 
the garrison were found 93 loyalists, 1 British Sergeant-major — 
stationed there to discipliue them — and 250 stands of arms, all 
loaded with ball and buckshot, and so disposed at the port-holes 
that they could have kept ofl^ double the number of the assail- 

78 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Shortly after this affair McDowell detached Shelby and Col. 
Clarke, with six hundred mounted men, to watch the movements 
of the enemy, and if possible to cut off his foraging parties. 
Ferguson, who commanded the enemy — then about two thousand 
strong- composed of British regulars and loyalists, with a small 
squadron of horse, was an officer of great entei'prise; and, though 
only a major in the British line, was a brigadier-general in the 
royal militia establishment made by the enemy after he overran 
North and South Carolina, and was esteemed the most distin- 
guished partisan officer belonging to the British army. He 
made several attempts to surprise Shelby, but without success. 
On the 1st of August, however, the advance of Ferguson — about 
six or seven hundred strong — came up with Shelby at a place 
which he had chosen to fight them, called Cedar Spring, where 
a sharp conflict ensued, lasting half an hour. Ferguson coming 
up with all his force, Shelby retreated, carrying from the field of 
battle twenty prisoners^ with two British officers. The Ameri- 
cans lost on their side ten or twelve in killed and wounded. 
Among the latter was Col. Clarke, wounded slightly in the neck 
by a saber. 

Having obtained information that a party of four or five hun- 
dred tories were encamped at Musgrove's Mill, on the south 
side of Enoree River, about forty miles distant, Col. McDowell 
again detached Shelby and Cols. Williams and Clarke to sur- 
prise and disperse them. Maj. Ferguson lay with his whole 
force at that time exactly between. They marched from Smith's 
Ford, of the Broad River, where McDowell then lay, just be- 
fore sundown on the evening of the 18th of August, went 
through the woods until dark, and then took a road leaving 
Ferguson's camp some three or four miles to the left. They 
rode hard all night, and at the dawn of day — about half a mile 
from the enemy's camp — met a strong patrol party. A short 
skirmish ensued, and they retreated. At that juncture a coun- 
tryman living near at hand came up and informed Shelby that 
the enemy had been re-enforced the evening before with six 
hundred regular troops — the Queen's American regiment from 
New York — under Col. Ennis, destined to join Ferguson's army. 
The circumstances of this information were so minute that no 
doubt was entertained of its truth. To march on and attack the 
enemy seemed then improper. Escape was impossible, so broken 


down were the men and horses. Shelby instantly determined to 
form a breastwork of brush and old logs, and to make the best 
defense he could. Capt. Inman, with about twenty-five men, 
was sent out to meet the enemy and skirmish with them as soon 
as they crossed the Enoree River. The sounds of their drums 
and bugles soon showed them to be in motion, and induced a be- 
lief that they had cavalry. Inman was ordered to fire on them 
and retreat, according to his own discretion. This stratagem, 
which was the suggestion of Capt. Inman himself, drew the en- 
emy forward in disorder, believing they had driven the whole 
party; and when they came within seventy yards a most destruct- 
ive fire from Shelby's riflemen, who lay concealed behind the 
breastwork of logs, commenced. It was one whole hour before the 
enemy could force these riflemen from their slender breastworks; 
and just as they began to give way in some points Col. Ennis 
was wounded. All the British officers having been previously 
either killed or wounded, and Capt. Hawsey, a considerable 
leader among the loyalists in the left wing, shot down, the whole 
of the enemy's line began to give way. Shelby followed them 
closely and beat them across the river. In this pursuit Capt. In- 
man was killed, bravely fighting the enemy hand to hand. Shel- 
by commanded the right wing in this action; Col. Clarke, the 
left; and Col. Williams, the center. The victorious troops 
mounted their horses, determined to be in Ninety-six, at that 
time a weak British post, before night, it being less than thirty 
miles distant. At that moment an express from Col. McDowell 
arrived in great haste, with a short letter in his hand from Gov. 
Caswell, dated on the battle-ground, apprising McDowell of the 
defeat of the grand army under Gen. Gates on the 16th, near 
Camden, and advising him to get out of the way, as the enemy 
would no doubt endeavor to improve their victory to the great- 
est advantage by cutting up all the small corps of the American 
armies. Gov. Caswell's "hand" was known to Shelby, and he 
instantly saw the difficulty of his situation. He did not know 
how to avoid the enemy in the rear, wearied out as his men and 
horses were, and incumbered as he was with more than two hun- 
dred British prisoners taken in the action. Owing to the infor- 
mation contained in Gov. Caswell's letter, the loss of the enemy 
in killed and wounded was not ascertained, but must have been 
very great. The prisoners were immediately distributed among 

80 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

the companies so as to make one to every three men, who car- 
ried them, alternately, on horseback directly toward the mount- 
ains. Shelby marched all that day and night and the next day 
until late in the evening, without ever stopping to refresh. This 
long and rapid retreat saved his troops, for they were pursued 
until late in the evening of the second day by Maj. Dupoister 
and a strong body of mounted men from Ferguson's army, who, 
being broken down by excessive fatigue and the hot weather, 
were obliged to give up the chase. Col. Shelby, after seeing the 
party and prisoners out of danger, retreated across the mount- 
ains to the Western waters, leaving the prisoners with Clarke 
and Williams, to convey them to some place of safety in the 
North; for it was not known to Shelby or to them that there 
was even the appearance of an American corps embodied any- 
where south of the Potomac. 

So great was the panic after Gates's defeat, that McDowell's 
whole army broke up, and himself, with a few hundred of his 
followers, retreated west of the mountains. The action on the 
Enoree, at Musgrove's Mill, lasted an hour and a half, during 
which time Shelby's men lay so close behind their breastworks 
that the enemy overshot them, so that he lost but six or seven 
men killed. Ferguson, with the main body of his army, performed 
a rapid march to overtake the prisoners before they should 
cross the mountains; but, finding his efforts vain, he took post at 
a place called Gilbert Town, whence he sent a most threatening 
message by a paroled prisoner — Samuel Phillips — stating that 
if the officers west of the mountains did not bury their opposi- 
tion to the British Government he would march his army over 
and burn and lay waste their country. On the receipt of this 
message, Shelby rode fifty or sixty miles to see Col. Sevier, and 
to concoct with him measures to meet the approaching crisis. 
They at the end of two days came to the conclusion that each of 
them should raise the greatest force that he could march hastily 
through the mountains, and endeavor to surprise Ferguson in 
his camp. They hoped to cripple him, so as to prevent his 
crossing the mountains. They appointed the day and place for 
their men to rendezvous, near Watauga. Col. Sevier undertook 
to bring McDowell with him, as also sundry other field officers 
who had retreated to the west of the mountains; and to induce 
them, with their followers, to co-operate in the plan. To CoL 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 81 

Shelby it was left to obtain the assistance of Col. Campbell, of 
Washington County, Va., if he possibly could. Shelby hurried 
home and wrote to Campbell, by his brother, Moses Shelby, stat- 
ing the plan which had been agreed on, and soliciting his aid. 
He did not at once approve of it, but thought it best for him to 
march with his troops by the way of Flower Gap, and to get in 
the southern borders of Virginia, ready to oppose Lord Corn- 
wallis when he should approach that State. But, reflecting on 
the subject and receiving a second message from Shelby, with 
additional reasons in support of the proposition, he thought 
proper to inform Shelby that he would join him with his whole 
force, and that he would come to Col. Shelby's house and go with 
him to the rendezvous, while his men should march down a 
nearer way by the Watauga road. 

It was at this dark and gloomy period of the Revolutionary 
War that many of the best friends of the American Government 
submitted to the British authority, took protection under and 
joined the British standard, and gave up their freedom and in- 
dependence for lost. Lord Cornwallis, with the British Grand 
Army, had advanced into North Carolina, and lay at that 
time at Charlotte; and Ferguson was at Gilbert Town, in the 
County of Rutherford, in North Carolina, with an army of two 
thousand men, which he could readily augment to double that 

At this critical juncture Campbell, Sevier, McDowell, and 
Shelby assembled on the Watauga on the 25th of September, 
1780, with their followers, and began their march on the next 
day. Owing to the desertion of two of their men, who went 
over to the enemy, they turned to the left on the top of the Al- 
leghany Mountain, traveled a worse route than ever an army of 
horsemen did, and, on getting clear of the mountains, they fell 
in with Col. Cleveland, having with him three or four hundred 
men, who were creeping along through the woods to fall in with 
any parties who were going to oppose the enemy. This was 
about the 1st of October. The second day after was so wet that 
the army could not move; but the officers commanding, as by 
instinct, met in the evening and held a council, at which it was 
determined to send to head-quarters, wherever it might be, for 
a general officer to command them; that in the meantime they 
would meet in council every day to determine on the measures 

82 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

to be pursued, and would appoint one of their own body to put 
them in execution. But it was remarked to the Council by Col. 
Shelby that they were then in striking distance of the enemy — 
not more than sixteen or eighteen miles from Gilbert Town, 
where Ferguson then lay, who would certainly attack or avoid 
them until he collected a force which they dare not approach; 
that it behooved the American army to act with promptitude 
and decision; and proposed to appoint one of their own body 
to the command, and to march the next day to Gilbert Town 
and attack the enemy. He remarked, too, that they were all 
North Carolinians except Col. Campbell, from Virginia, whom 
he knew to be a man of good sense and warmly attached to the 
cause of his country, and that he commanded a respectable 
regiment. He was therefore nominated, and appointed to the 

Col. McDowell was the commanding officer of the district they 
were then in, and had commanded against the same enemy all 
the summer; and, although a brave man and a friend to his 
country, was supposed to be too far advanced in life and too in- 
active to command on such an enterprise as they were then 
about to embark on. Col. McDowell proposed, as he could not be 
permitted to command, that he would be the messenger to go 
for the general officer; and he set off immediately, leaving his 
men under the command of his brother, Joseph McDowell. On 
his route, about eight miles from camp, he fell in with Col. John 
Williams, of South Carolina, and a number of other field officers 
from that State, with nearly four hundred men, of which he in- 
formed those he had left by express, and stated that they would 
join the main army the next morning, but they did not join till 
the evening of the third day after. 

The next morning after McDowell's departure the army ad- 
vanced to Gilbert Town. But Ferguson had decamped, having 
permitted many of his tories to visit their families under en- 
gagement to join him on short notice. For that purpose he had 
out expresses in all directions, and published an animated ad- 
dress to the tories, informing them of the advance of the 
mountain men upon him, and exhorting all his Majesty's loyal 
subjects to repair to the standard, and to fight for their king 
and country. In the meantime he took a circuitous march 
through the country in which the tories resided to gain time 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 83 

and to avoid the Americans until his forces could join him. 
Having gained a knowledge of his designs, it was determined in 
council of the principal officers to pursue him with all possible 
dispatch. Accordingly, two nights before the action the officers 
were engaged all night long in selecting the best men, the best 
horses, and the best rifles, and at the dawn of day took Fergu- 
son's trail. They pursued him with nine hundred and ten ex- 
pert marksmen, while those on foot and with weak horses 
were ordered to follow. In the pursuit the American troops 
passed near where several large parties of tories were assem- 
bled; and at Cowpens, where General Morgan afterward de- 
feated Col. Tarleton, they were informed of six hundred tories 
at Maj. Gibbs's, four miles to the right, who were assembled to 
join Ferguson the next day. But the mountain men had no 
other object but Ferguson, and him they jrarsued with so much 
steadiness that for the last thirty-six hours of the pursuit they nev- 
er alighted from their horses but once, to refresh at Cowpens 
for an hour, although the day of the action was so extremely wet 
that the men could only keep their guns dry by wrapping their 
bags, blankets, and hunting shirts around the locks, thereby ex- 
posing their bodies to a heavy and incessant rain. About 3 
o'clock of the same day, the 7tli of October, the pursuers came 
in sight of the enemy encamped on King's Mountain, an emi- 
nence extending from east to west, which on its summit was five 
or six hundred yards in length, and sixty or seventy in width. 
The troops who had belonged to Col. McDowell's command, 
which had been considerably augmented during the march, 
formed a part of the right wing under Sevier. Col, Campbell's 
regiment and that of Col. Shelby composed the center, Camp- 
bell on the right, and Shelby on the left. The right wing or 
column was led by Col. Sevier and Maj. Winston, the left by 
Cols. Cleveland and Williams. The plan was to surround the 
mountain and attack the enemy on all sides. In this order the 
army marched to the assault. The attack was commenced by 
the two center columns, which attempted to ascend at the east- 
ern end of the mountain. Here the battle was furious and 
bloody, and many that belonged to Sevier's column were drawn 
into the action at this point to sustain their comrades. 

In the course of the battle the American troops were re- 
peatedly repulsed by the enemy and driven down the mountain, 

84 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

but were as often rallied by their officers and returned to the 
charge. In this succession of repulses and attacks, and in giv- 
ing succor to the points hardest pressed, the men of Shelby's 
column, of Campbell's, and of Sevier's, were mingled together 
in the confusion of the battle. Toward the latter j:)art of the 
action the enemy made a fierce and gallant charge upon the 
American troops from the eastern summit of the mountain, and 
drove them near to the foot of it. As before, they were again 
rallied, returned to the charge, and in a few minutes came into 
close action with the enemy, who in their turn began to give 
way. The Americans gained the eastern summit, and drove 
those who were opposed to them along the top of it, until they 
w^ere forced down the western end about one hundred yards, in 
a crowd, to where the other part of their line had been contend- 
ing with Cleveland and Williams, of Burke, and in the counties 
adjacent thereto. Col. William Campbell had with him 400 
men, raised in Washington County, Va. ; Col. Shelby, 200, raised 
in Sullivan County, N. C. ; and Col. Sevier, 240, raised in AYash- 
ington County, N. C. The rest of the troops were those under 
the command of Cleveland and Williams. Col. Campbell 
marched at their head to the foot of King's Mountain, and with 
his division ascended the hill, killing all that came in his way; 
till, coming near enough to the main body of the enemy, who 
were posted upon the summit, he poured upon them a most deadly 
fire. The enemy, with fixed bayonets, advanced upon his troops, 
who gave way and went down the hill, where they rallied and 
formed, and again advanced as before stated. The mountain 
was covered with flame ami smoke, and seemed to thunder: The 
other division was closing them in and maintaining the action, 
with no less vigor and effect, on the other side of the hill. Fer- 
guson, the British commander, attempted \o form his troops into 
column, with a view to break through the assailants, and was shot 
and fell dead from his horse, upon which event the command 
devolved on Dupoister. The fire from the Americans had now 
become so hot and fatal that it could no longer be sustained. 
The enemy laid down their arms, raised a white flag, and sub- 
mitted to become prisoners of war. Some of the young men 
from Virginia, not knowing the meaning of the flag, still kept up 
a fire until informed of their error, when the firing ceased. 
The Legislature of Virginia, in the same year, voted Col. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 85 

Campbell a horse, pistols, and sword, iu testimony of their high 
respect for his distinguished gallantry. The horse was immedi- 
ately presented, but the sword was not till after 1810, when by a 
fresh resolution of the Legislature an elegant one was made and 
presented to his grandson, Mr. Preston. The troops, led by 
Shelby, Sevier, and Cleveland, tied their horses at the foot of 
the mountain — except the field officers, who continued on horse- 
back — and from different parts of the mountain they marched 
directly to the summit, where the British and tories prepared to 
meet them with desperate valor. In spite of all opposition, they 
ascended the mountain, and eminently aided in the achievements 
of one of the most brilliant victories that was gained during the 
whole war. This was an enterprise undertaken from pure and 
patriotic motives, without the aid of the government and at a 
time when the dangers of the country w^ere at a crisis. The 
British forces, after the battle of Camden, on the 16th of August, 
1780, had spread themselves over the country, and had come as 
far as King's Mountain to give countenance to the tories, and to 
induce them to join their standard, which they began to do in 
great numbers. 

This battle dispirited the tories, and almost demolished their 
hopes. In its consequences it proved to be the salvation of 
North Carolina, as it obliged Lord Cornwallis to retreat out of 
the State with the whole British army, whence he could not ad- 
vance till re-enforced from New York with troops to supply the 
places of those who were killed or made prisoners at King's 

The General Assembly of North Carolina, at their first session 
after the defeat of Ferguson, which was held at Halifax on the 
18th of January, 1781, and was continued to the 14th of Febru- 
ary, passed a resolution that a sword and pistols should be pre- 
sented to Shelby and Sevier respectively, as a testimony of the 
great services they had rendered to |;heir country on the day of 
this memorable defeat. This debt of gratitude and justice re- 
mained unpaid as late as the 10th of February, 1810. Justice 
to the merits of these heroes demands that it should not be en- 
tirely overlooked. 

Col. Williams, from Ninety-six, while fighting with the utmost 
gallantry, was rnortally wounded, and soon after died. Fifteen 
hundred stands of arms was one of the fruits of this victory; 150 

86 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

of the enemy, besides their commander, were laid dead on the 
field; 810, including 150 wounded, were made prisoners; 440 es- 
caped. There was no time to wait for the tardy forms of law 
and a court-martial to put to death ten or twelve of the tories 
most noted for the enormity of the offenses they had committed 
against their country. 

An event so sudden and so unexpected instantly put a new 
face on our affairs, stopped the immediate progress of the ene- 
my; gave time to the people of North Carolina to recover from 
the shocks they had lately received, to resume fresh vigor, and 
to be ready again to meet and defeat another part of the British 
army, and finally to oppose such a barrier to all their forces as 
turned them aside from their purpose of further invasion and 
compelled them again to seek a respite from danger and fatigue 
in Wilmington, N. C, the nearest spot in their possession which 
afforded them shelter and security. 

To speak with more particularity. Lord Cornwallis, who then 
lay at Charlotte with the British Grand Army, on being informed 
of Ferguson's total defeat and overthrow by the riflemen of the 
West, and that they were bearing down upon him, ordered an 
immediate retreat, marched all night in the utmost confusion, 
and retrograded as far back as Winnsboro, seventy or eighty 
miles; from whence he did not attempt to advance until re-en- 
forced by Gen. Leslie, from the Chesapeake, with two thousand 
men, three months later. In the meantime the militia of North 
Carolina assembled in considerable force at New Providence, on 
the borders of South Carolina, under Gen. Davidson. Gen. 
Smallwood, with Morgan's light corps and the Maryland line, 
advanced to the same point. Gen. Gates, with the shattered re- 
mains of his army collected at Hillsboro, also came up; and 
the new levies from Virginia, under Gen. Stephens, of a thou- 
sand men, came forward. At the same time ( which was about 
the 2d or 3d of December) Gen. Greene arrived and took the 
command. Thus was dispelled the dismal gloom which pervaded 
the Southern States. 


The Peace of 1763 — Treaty of Fort Stanwix — Lindsey and Others Explored the 
Western Country — A Company of Hunters Come to the Western Waters; 
Make a Camp in the Barrens — Hnman Bones in Caves — Mansco Descends the 
Cumberland — French Lick — Stockade Fort on the Mound — Another Set of 
Hunters in 1771 — Station Camp Creek — Discoveries Made and Places Named 
by This Company — Another Company of Hunters — November, 1775 — Spencer 
Came in Company with Others to Cumberland in 1776 — Emigrants to Cumber-- 
land in 1779 — Others in the Latter Part of the Year Came through Kentucky 
to the Salt Spring or Blufi' — The Koute of the Emigrants — Oil Spring — Crossed 
the Cumberland on the Ice in January, 1780 — Emigrants Settled at Various 
Places on the River — Emigrants Descend the Holston and Tennessee in Boats, 
and Arrive at Salt Spring on the Cumberland. 

THE peace of 1763 was hailed with acclamations of joy, as 
well by the savages of the southern and western wilds of 
America as by the European colonists of the frontiers. 

Aftec so many turbulent scenes, which did not permit a re- 
laxation of the mind from vigilance, or of the body from action, 
for fear of those misfortunes which were always ready to fall 
upon the remiss, they heard, with unfeigned satisfaction, of the 
event which promised security for the present and indemnifi- 
cation for the past. The somnolence of repose had become the 
most delicious of all enjoyments. A calm succeeded the tempest- 
uous agitations which had so long disturbed the terrified inhab- 
itants. They hoped, as expressed in the language of every 
treaty of pacification, that the amicable relations of the late 
belligerents would be eternal. Forbearance from aggression 
was the special care of everybody; and both the white and red 
men lived not very distantly from each other, without annoy- 
ance and without the apprehension of any injurious treatment 
from either side. But the spirit of enterprise was not dead, 
and many desired to know what wonders were to be seen and 
what advantages were to be acquired in the western country, 
as far as the Mississippi, which the treaty of 1763 had made our 
western boundary. 

They had heard of the removal of the Shawnees; of the quar- 
rel of the Cherokees with their late allies the Chickasaws, in 

88 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

their war with the Shawnees; they had heard that none of the 
tribes had ventured upon the deserted territory, and they wished 
to take this opportunity to explore it themselves. 

Some time after the treaty of Fort Stanwix, made between Sir 
William Johnston and the Six Nations, in which they ceded all 
the country south of the Kentucky Eiver, and between the Ohio 
and Cherokee Rivers, and in the year 1767, Isaac Lindsay and four 
others from South Carolina crossed the AUeghanies, and came 
to Powell's Valley, and passed the Cumberland Mountain at 
Cumberland Gap; thence they came to what is now called Rock 
Castle, which he so named from a romantic-looking rock, through 
the fissures of which the water dripped and froze in rows below. 
Down that river he came into the Cumberland, and down the 
Cumberland to the mouth of Stone's River, where he found 
Michael Stoner, who had come thither with Harrod from Illi- 
nois to hunt. Some French, before that time, had settled on the 
bluff where Nashville now stands. They, Harrod and Stoner, 
had gone from Fort Pitt or Pittsburg, to the Illinois. After the 
Shawnees left the bluff, the French kept up a station there for 
some time. The French had also a station at the same time on 
the Tennessee, ten or twelve miles above the mouth; and Fort 
Massac, on the Ohio. 

On the second of June, 1769, a company of twenty men or 
more was formed of adventurers from North Carolina, Rock 
Bridge, in Virginia, and from New River, about five miles distant 
from English's Ferry, who resolved to pass over into what is now 
called West Tennessee, for the purpose of hunting. Of this com- 
pany were John Rains, Casper Mansco, Abraham Bledsoe, John 
Baker, Josej^h Drake, Obadiah Terril, Uriah Stone, Henry 
Smith, Ned Cowan, and others. They assembled on Reedy 
Creek, which empties into New" River about eight miles below 
Chissell's, each man having with him several horses; Mr. Rains 
had three. They set off on the second week in June, 1769, and 
came to the head of the Holston; then down the Holston to what is 
now called Abingdon, but then the Wolf Hills; thence to the North 
Fork of Holston; thence to Clinch River, at a place called Mock- 
ason Gap, which still retains the same name; they next came to 
Powell's Valley, and thence to the Gap of Cumberland Mountains; 
thence to Cumberland River, at the old crossing-place which led 
to Kentucky. No trace was then there, but has been made 


since; it is now a turnpike road. They thence traveled to Flat 
Lick, about six miles from the Cumberland River; thence bearing 
down the water-courses, and crossing the river at a remarkable 
fish dam, which had been made in very ancient times, in what 
is now the State of Kentucky. They passed the place called the 
Brush, near the fish dam; briers, brush, vines, and a vast quan- 
tity of limbs of trees were heaped up and grown together, and 
many immense hills and clifPs of rocks were there; thence they 
went in a southwardly direction, and coming to the Sonth Fork of 
the Cumberland, they turned down it some distance, and crossed 
it; they soon came to an open country called barrens, to a place 
since called Price's Meadow, in what is now called Wayne County, 
six or seven miles from the place where Wayne court-house now 
stands; there they made a camp, and agreed that they should 
deposit at it all the game and skins that they should get, the 
place being in an open country, near an excellent spring. They 
agreed to return and make their deposits at the end of every five 
weeks. They dispersed in different directions, to different parts 
of the country, the whole company still traveling to the south- 
west. They came to Roaring River and the Caney Fork, at a 
point far above the mouth, and somewhere near the foot of the 
mountains. Robert Crocket, one of the company, was killed near 
the head waters of Roaring River, when returning to the camp 
provided for two or three days traveling; the Indians were 
there in ambush, and fired upon and killed him. The Indians 
were traveling to the north, seven or eight in company. His 
body was found on the War trace leading from the Cherokee 
Nation toward the Shawnee tribe. All the country through 
which these hunters passed was covered Math high grass, which 
seemed inexhaustible; no traces of any human settlement could 
be seen, and the primeval state of things reigned in unrivaled 
glory; though under dry caves, on the sides of creeks, they 
found many places where stones were set up, that covered large 
quantities of human bones. They also found human bones in the 
caves, with which the country abounds. They continued to hunt 
eight or nine months, and part of them returned on the 6th of 
April, 1770. 

In the year 1770, but 1769, as Mr. Mansco said, he, with Uriah 
Stone, John Baker, Thomas Gordon, Humphrey Hogan, Cash 
Brook, and others, ten in all, built two boats and two trapping 

90 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

canoes, loaded them with firs and bear meat, together with a de- 
serted boat which they found, and moved down the river to Fort 
Natchez, to dispose of the articles which they had, and to pur- 
chase others which they wanted. Navigating down the river as 
far as where Nashville now stands, they discovered the French 
Lick, where they saw an immense number of buffaloes and wild 
game, more than they had ever seen at any one place. The 
lick and all the adjoining lands were crowded with them. Their 
bellowings resounded from the hills and forests; some of these 
animals they killed, and got their hides to cover the boats. There 
was then a stock fort on the mound, which they conjectured to 
have been built by the Cherokees, on their retreat from the 
Chickasaw Old Fields, where they had been defeated by the 
Chickasaws. Another was discovered on the Caney Fork, and 
one on Big Harper. Mansco and his associates sailed from 
thence to the mouth of the Cumberland. Upon their arrival 
at this place it was discovered that their meat was spoiling. 
They converted it into oil, and poured it into the lightest boat, 
for market. Here they had the misfortune to see John Brown, 
the mountain leader, and twenty-five others, on their way to war 
with the Seneca Indians. They offered no personal injury, but 
robbed the crews of these boats, of two guns, some ammunition, 
salt, and tobacco; a loss which, but for the guns, would not have 
been sensibly felt; for soon afterward they met some French 
boats, on their way to the Illinois, who appeared friendly, gave 
them some salt, tobacco, flour, and some taffy; the latter being 
a very acceptable present, as for a long time the wanderers had 
not tasted of spirits of any sort. They gave to the Frenchmen 
in exchange a few pounds of fresh meat. Mansco and his asso- 
ciates proceeded to Fort Natchez, but finding no sale for the 
articles on board their boats, they sailed to the Spanish Natchez. 
One of their boats got loose from its moorings at this place and 
floated down the river. Mansco and Baker pursued and over- 
took the boat at Fort Kaspel, which they brought back, and 
there disposed of the cargo. Uriah Stone, one of this company, 
had come to the Cumberland River in 1767. In that year he and 
a Frenchman were trapping on the river now called Stone's River, 
and had nearly loaded their boat with furs. In his absence the 
Frenchman stole off with the boat and lading. Stone then re- 
turned to the settlement, and came out the second time with 


Mansco and his associates. From this man Stone's River took 
its name. This boat was now found at Spanish Natchez. Mans- 
co and his company remained some days after disposing of their 
cargo, and then separated. Some returned home, others re- 
mained there. Mansco was confined by sickness from May till 
November. He then returned with John Baker in a boat as far 
as Ozinck, where he met with one Fairchild with a drove of 
horses intended for Georgia. They came on through the Keowee 
Nation to New River, where Mansco had lived before his depart- 
ure. In the fall of the year 1771 Mansco came out again in 
company with John Montgomery, Isaac Bledsoe, Joseph Drake, 
Henry Suggs, James Knox, and others, amongst whom was an 
old man by the name of Russell, who was so dim sighted that 
he was obliged to tie a piece of white paper at the muzzle of his 
gun to direct his sight at the game, and thus killed a number of 
deer. They encamped on Russell's Creek, so called from the 
circumstance of this old man getting lost. He was missing 
nineteen days, in very cold weather. When found by his com- 
panions, he was helpless, and continued so three or four days. 
He was nursed by his son, and recovered, and killed a number 
of deer afterward. The winter was rather severe than other- 
wise. The party built a skin house, which circumstance gave 
name to the place, which to this day it retains. They hunted 
down through this country till February, when, their ammuni- 
tion becoming scarce, Mansco, Henry Knox, and indeed all of 
the company except five whom they left to take care of the camp 
— namely, Isaac Bledsoe, William Linch, William Allen, Chris- 
topher Stoph, and David Linch — returned to procure ammuni- 
tion, and for other purposes. Linch was taken sick of the shin- 
gles; Bledsoe came with him into the settlements; and the other 
three were discovered and defeated, before the return of their 
companions in the ensuing spring. The winter being very in- 
clement, they did not return to their camp till May. The attack 
upon the three who were left to take care of the camp was sup- 
posed to have been made by some of the northern Indians. 
They took Stoph and Allen. Hughes escaped and met the rest 
of the company as they Avere returning to the camp. The In- 
dians did not plunder the camp. There was nothing missing 
but some of the meat, which it was supposed the dogs at the 
camp had eaten. The dogs still remained at the camp, but were 

92 hayayood's history of Tennessee. 

quite wild, as tliey had not seen a human being for two or three 
months; for Hughes had fallen in with other hunters, in Pow- 
ell's Valley, and informed the company who met him that he 
had been so long absent from camp; but in three or four days 
the dogs were as well tutored as ever. Thence the party trav-, 
elled through the woods to the creek now called Station Camp 
Creek, on which they fixed a station, from which circumstance 
it has ever since invariably preserved the name of Station Camp 
Creek, There this party remaiued from May, 1772, until Au- 
gust, hunting and traversing the country, in which time they 
made many important discoveries. Drake discovered the pond 
now called Drake's Pond, a great resort of deer. Isaac Bledsoe 
discovered the lick called Bledsoe's Lick; and Drake discovered 
the lick since called Drake's Lick. Casper Mansco discovered 
the lick called Mansco's Lick. All these licks took their names 
from those who discovered them. About this time twenty-five 
of the Cherokees came to the camp and plundered it in the ab- 
sence of the hunters. Some of the party discovered the Indians, 
but before the whole company could be collected the Indians 
were gone. They made a visible trail where they came in, but 
were careful not to make one in their departure. They either 
went singly, or up Station Camp Creek, in the water. They 
took all the ammunition they could find, and all the pots and 
kettles that belonged to the company. They carried off also and 
destroyed about five hundred deer-skins, and a good deal of cloth- 
ing, and, in short, they broke up the hunting expedition for the 
present. However, the hunters continued where they were until 
they had consumed the remainder of their ammunition, which was 
but small. They then broke up the camp and moved toward the 
settlements. They went as far as Big Barren Kiver, in Ken- 
tucky, where they met with another corps of hunters, upon 
which Mansco and four or five others returned, and hunted to 
the end of the season. They then returned to the settlements 
on New River. Mansco renewed his visit in November, 1775, and 
came to the Cumberland River Avith another company of the 
name of Bryants. They all encamped at Mansco's Lick. The 
greater part of them, not being pleased with the country, re- 
turned home; but Mansco and three others staid, and com- 
menced trapping Sulphur Fork and Red River. Finding that 
the Black Fish Indians and their company were at these places 


before them, by the number of deer carcases which they saw, 
and frames which they used to stretch their skins on, they con- 
cluded that it was useless to tarry there any longer, but deemed 
it essential to their own safety to ascertain where they were en- 
camped, and their number; and they selected Mansco to make 
the discovery. He conjectured that the Indians were somewhere 
on Red River, and resolved to strike the river, and to scour it up 
and down till he should find the camp. He had proceeded 
about twenty miles when he perceived by the sycamore trees in 
view, that he was near the river. He advanced but a few steps 
farther, when suddenly he found himself within seventy or 
eighty yards of the camp, which before he had not seen. He 
instantly placed himself behind a tree, with design, if possible, 
to ascertain the number of Indians Avho were at it. He could see 
only two of them; the rest he supposed to be hunting at a dis- 
tance. At the moment when he was about to retire, one of the 
two took up a tomahawk, crossed the river, and went upon the 
other side; the other picked up his gun, put it on his shoulder, 
and came directly toward the place where Mansco stood. 
Mansco lay close, hoping the advancing Indian would pass some 
other way; but he continued to advance in a straight line to- 
ward the spot where Mansco was, and at length came within 
fifteen steps of him. There being no alternative but to shoot 
him, Mansco cocked and presented his gun. Aiming at the 
most vital part of the body, he pulled trigger, and the gun fired. 
The Indian screamed, threw down his gun, and made for the 
camp, but he passed it, and pitched headlong down the blufp, 
dead, into the river. The other ran to the camp, but Mansco 
outran him, and getting there first, picked up an old gun, but 
could not fire it, and the Indian escaped. Mansco broke the 
old gun, and returned at once to his comrades. The next 
day they all went to the Indian camp to make further discov- 
eries. They found the dead Indian, and took away his toma- 
hawk, knife, and shot-bag but could not find his gun. The 
other Indian had returned and loaded his horses with his furs, 
and Avas gone. They pursued him all that day, and all night 
with a torch of dry cane, but could never overtake him. They 
then returned and came back to Mansco's Lick, where they left 
a piggin, which Captain De Mumbrune afterward found. They 
then began their journey, toward the settlements on New River, 

94 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

biit were detained four weeks by snow, which was waist deep. 
When that melted, they resumed their journey, and arrived safe 
at home. 

Thomas Sharpe, Spencer and others, allared by the flattering 
accounts they had received of the fertility of the soil and the 
abundance of game that the country afforded, determined to pay 
it a visit. In the year 1776 they came to Cumberland River, and 
built a number of cabins. The greater part of them returned, 
leaving Spencer and Holliday, who remained in the country till 
1779. Capt. De Mumbrune, who is yet a resident of Nashville, 
is a Frenchman who hunted in this country as early as 1775. He 
.tixed his residence during the summer at the place since known 
by the name of Eaton's Station. He saw no Indians in the 
country during that summer, fall, or winter, but immense num- 
bers of buffaloes and other game. In the spring of the year 
1776 he went to Orleans with his tallow, hides, furs, and other 
articles. On his return from Orleans, he obtained permission 
from his relation, the then late Governor of Florida, Grand Pre, 
to hunt on the river Arkansas; but being molested there by the 
Indians, he determined again to visit the Shawnee or Cumber- 
land River. He arrived at Deacon's Pond, near where Palmyra 
now stands, in February, 1777, and found six white men and a 
white woman. This party informed him that they had taken wa- 
ter where Rock Castle River disembogues into the Cumberland 
River, and come down it, hunting occasionally from it through 
the woods; that in their excursions they had seen no Indians, 
but had found an incredible number of buffaloes; that one of 
the party, by the name of William Bowen, had been killed by a 
buffalo; he had shot at a gang of liuffaloes, one of which he 
wounded; it ran directly toward him, and the cane being thick, 
he could not get out of the way; he was trodden down so that 
he could not move, nor could his companions find him; he lay 
there seven days; when found, he was nearly exhausted and the 
bruised parts had mortified; on the eighth day he died. Big 
John, or John Duncan, one of the six, had the woman who was 
with him as his wife ; she had become tired of him, and took up 
with James Ferguson, another of the six; she left her husband 
sick, and induced the party also to leave him. They went down 
the river, and no doubt he died from want of care and nour- 
ishment. Capt. De Mumbrune saw his corpse, and supposed 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 95 

from its appearance that he died of hunger; he was left at the 
place where Capt. De Mumbrune first saw them. Ferguson 
and his party drifted down the Ohio, into the Mississippi, on the 
banks of which they hunted for some time, but were all cut oft' 
except one or two, near Natchez, in 1779. In the fall of 1777 
Capt. De Mumbrune went down the river, and up the Wabash 
to Post Saint Vincents, leaving a hunter here, to join him the 
next spring at the mouth of Cumberland River. In a short time 
the man joined him at Vincennes. Thomas Sharpe, Spencer, 
and John Holliday, having then lately come to this country from 
Kentucky, had passed very early one morning, in pursuit of a 
wounded buffalo, the temporary cabin which Capt. De Mum- 
brune had erected at the place since called Eaton's Station. 
The noise they made so alarmed the hunter whom Capt. De 
Mumbrune had left here that he swam the river, and wandered 
through the woods until he got amongst the French on the 
Wabash River, He had seen, the day before, the huge tracks of 
Spencer, who was a man of very uncommon size. Spencer and 
Holliday came from Kentucky, in company with Richard Hogan 
and others, in search of good lands, intending to secure some 
for themselves. They planted a small field of corn in 1778, near 
Bledsoe's Lick. Spencer was pleased with his situation; Holli- 
day wished to return, but could not persuade Spencer to return 
with him. When about to part, having lost one of their knives, 
they had but one between them. Each wanted it to skin his ven- 
ison and cut his meat. Spencer went with him to the barrens, 
on the way to Kentucky, and put him on the path, and broke 
the knife and gave Holliday a part. Spencer then lived in a 
hollow tree, near Bledsoe's Lick. 

Early in 1779 a party from East Tennessee crossed the Cum- 
berland Mountain. It consisted of Capt. James Robertson, 
George Freeland, William Neely, Edward Swan son, James 
Hanly, Mark Robertson, Zachariah White, William Overall, 
and a negro fellow, who was afterward killed at Freeland's 
Station, in the year 1781, on the same night when Maj. Lucas 
was killed. They explored the country to the neighborhood of 
the place where Nashville now stands, and fixed themselves con- 
venient to the French Lick; they planted a field of corn on the 
ground where Nashville now stands, in the year 1779, about the 
spot where Joseph Park now lives, near the Lower Ferry, and 

96 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

the party returned to East Tennessee for their families, leaving 
Overall and AYhite and Swanson to keep tlie buffaloes out of 
the corn. 

In the year 1779 Mansco, with a number of others, came to 
the Cumberland River, and found Capt. James Robertson's com- 
pany at the French Lick, where they had just arrived. Robert- 
son himself was gone to Illinois, to purchase the cabin rights 
of General Clarke. The emigrants planted some corn that 
spring at French Lick. Mansco returned to the settlements, 
and in the fall conducted a number of families to the country, 
who settled at Bledsoe's Lick, Mansco's Lick, and at other 

In 1779, in the month of October, Mr. John Rains set off from 
New River to go to Kentucky, and advanced toward Cumber- 
land Gap; but before reaching the Gap, he found Capt. James 
Robertson in Powell's Valley, who pursuaded Rains to come 
with him to Cumberland. The latter agreed to the propos- 
al, and to give up his former purjjose of settling at Harrods- 
burg. Other persons, in small companies, both before and be- 
hind, were moving to different places, and some of them to 
Cumberland; some of them were the hunters who had been to 
Cumberland in 1769. Frazier, a hunter, had been to and re- 
turned from Cumberland; Mansco had left the hunters in 1769 
or 1770, just before they had set off to return home, and went 
down the river as before stated. Upon the return of Mansco in 
1771 from his voyage down the river, the fame of the Cumber- 
land lands, and of their fertility, as well as the salubrity of the 
air, the excellency of the water, the abundance of buffaloes, 
deer, and game of all sorts, was diffused through all the frontier 
settlements, was the theme of conversation in every company, 
and many embraced the resolution of emigrating to this land 
of plenty. They came through Cumberland Gap; thence to 
the Cumberland River, at the crossing-place crossed by the 
Kentucky trace at that time. These small parties traveled on 
the Kentucky trace to Dick's River, where was Whitley's Sta- 
tion; thence they traveled on the ridge between Salt River and 
Dick's river, to a point near a place since called Carpenter's 
Station, on the waters of Green River; thence to Robertson's 
Fork, on the north side of Green River, which discharges itself 
into that river; thence down the river to a place since called 

Haywood's histohy of Tennessee. 97 

Pitman's Station; thence across Green River, and down it, to 
Little Barren River, crossing the same at Elk Lick; thence to 
the Blue Spring, in the barrens; thence to the Dripping Spring, 
between the Blue Spring and Big Barren; thence to Big Bar- 
ren, and crossing it; thence up to Drake's Creek, that runs into 
it, and up Drake's Creek to a place near to Oil Spring, so 
called from a scum of oil that is upon it. The oil is swept off by 
the wings of fowls, and is sold at a dollar per quart. It is 
used as a medicament for burns and pains. This spring is five 
miles from the Big Barren, to the south-west of it, breaks out near 
the bank of Drake's Creek, about five miles above the mouth» 
opposite to where the county of Sumner, in Tennessee, now is, 
and at this time in the county of Warren, in Kentucky. The 
water of this spring is dark like tar, of a nauseous smell; it is a 
boiling spring, and the oil is always on the surface of the water, 
and is not used by any animal. The oil upon the water of the 
spring has the appearance of grease, or of oil poured upon the 
water; the oil floats on the surface till obstructed by some ob- 
stacle, when it collects in compact quantities, and is then taken 
up and put in bottles, and applied to divers medicinal uses. 
From Oil Spring they went to Maple Swamp. This was a 
marshy place, but full of timber, when in all the adjoining 
country there is no timber at all; flience they traveled to Red 
River, crossing two or three miles below where they struck it, at 
a place since called Kilgore's Station; thence over to Mansco's 
Creek, then so called after Casper Mansco, who had there 
stopped upon a place where he afterward lived and died. This 
place he had seen when he came down the river in the year 1769. 
The emigrants came down Mansco's Creek to a place where 
Mansco lived, and thence to the French Lick. In the month of 
January, 1780, the river was frozen over; there had been a long 
freeze, in clear, dry weather. The winter of 1779-80 has been 
remembered and referred to as the cold winter by all countries 
in the northern hemisphere, and between the thirty-fifth degree 
of latitude and the seventieth, and is decisive in favor of the chro- 
nology which fixes the arrival of these emigrants at the bluff 
in 1780. At the Cumberland River snow had first fallen upon the 
ice; the water dried up, and it continued to freeze for many 
weeks. Mr. Rains's stock, the only one in all these companies, 
consisted of nineteen cows, two steers, and seventeen horses. All 

98 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

crossed the river upon the ice, and came to the bluff where 
Nashville now stands. They were all upon the ice together, and 
it sounded as if it cracked, when the cattle were about the middle 
of the river; and from the report, the crack seemed to extend 
four or five miles up and down the river; it settled upon the 
layer of ice next below it, as those who were crossing at the mo- 
ment now supposed. When they came to the Cumberland River, 
all the companies amounted, it is supposed, to two or three hun- 
dred men, many of them young men without families. Some of 
them settled on the north side of the river, at Eaton's Station, 
where Page now lives. Among these was old Frederick Stump 
and Amos Eaton. Hay den Wells, Isaac Rounsever, William 
Loggins, AVinters, and others settled there, cleared ground, 
planted corn, built cabins with stockades from one to the other, 
and port-holes and bastions. Some of them crossed the river, 
and settled at Freeland's Station, where David McGavock, Esq., 
now lives, and built block-houses and stockades. The greater 
part came to the bluff where Nashville now stands; they built 
block-houses in lines, and stockaded the intervals; two lines 
were parallel to each other, and so were the other two lines, the 
whole forming a square within. Rains went the same day and 
settled the lands since called Deaderick's plantation. Whilst 
the above-mentioned emigrants were on their way to Cumber- 
land, they were overtaken and passed by others, from South 
Carolina: John Buchanan and his brother Alexander, Daniel 
Williams, James Mulherrin and John Mulherrin, Sampson Will- 
iams, Thomas Thompson, and others. These persons came to a 
point on the north side of the river, opposite the mouth of the 
French Lick, and found the river shut up by the ice. After 
some time they crossed on the ice, at the place where Mr. McGav- 
ock's ferry is, and built cabins on the bluff where Nashville now 
stands. At the same time boats were descending the Tennes- 
see with emigrants and their property, destined for the bluff' 
on the Cumberland and its vicinity. One of the boats, called 
the "Adventure," commenced her voyage on the 22d of Decem- 
ber, 1779, at Port Patrick Henry, on the Holston River, which 
port was at a place known by the name of the Long Island of 
the Holston, about five or six miles above the North Fork of the 
Holston. She had on board John Donaldson, Esq., the elder, 
his family and others. The boat and crew departed and fell 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 99 

down the river to the mouth of Reedy Creek, where they were 
detained by the falling of the water, and excessive hard frost. 
After much delay, and many difficulties, they arrived at the 
mouth of Cloud's Creek, on Sunday evening, the 20th of Febru- 
ary, 1780. There they remained till Sunday the 27th, when they 
set off in company with sundry other vessels, all destined for 
the Salt Springs, on the Cumberland River. The "Adventure," 
on that day, struck on the Poor Valley Shoal, together with Mr. 
Boyd and Mr. Rounsever, where they all lay in much distress 
until the succeeding night of Monday, the 28th of February, 1780. 
On the morning of the 29th, the water rising, the boat got off 
the shoal after landing thirty persons to lighten the boat of 
Col. Donaldson, and in attempting to land on an island his boat 
received some damage and sundry articles were lost. They en- 
camped on the south shore, and joined several other vessels 
bound down the river. On the 29th of February, 1780, they, 
proceeded down the river, and encamped on the north shore, the 
weather being rainy that afternoon and the next day. On 
AVednesday they continued the voyage; on Thursday the 2d of 
March, they passed the mouth of the French Broad River; and 
about twelve o'clock, Hugh Henry's boat, being driven on the 
point of an island by the force of the current, was sunk; the 
lives of the crew were greatly endangered, and the whole fleet 
put to shore, and the crews went to their assistance. With 
much difficulty they baled out the water, and the sunken boat 
was raised so as to take in her cargo again. On this day Reu- 
ben Harrison went out to hunt, and did not return in the even- 
ing, though many guns were fired to bring him to the boats if 
within hearing. On Friday, the 3d of March, 1780, early in 
the morning, they fired a four-pounder for Harrison, and sent 
out several persons to search the woods for him, firing many 
guns in the course of that day and till the succeeding night. 
All attempts to find him proved fruitless, to the great grief of 
his parents and fellow-travelers. On Saturday, the 4th of March, 
1780, they resumed the voyage leaving old Mr. Harrison and 
some other vessels to make further search for the lost man. 
About 10 o'clock on that day they found him a considerable 
distance down the river, where Mr. Benjamin Belew took him 
on board his boat. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon the "Advent- 
ure" passed the mouth of the Little Tennessee River, and the 

100 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

passengers encamped on the soutli shore, about ten miles below 
the mouth. On Sunday, the 5th of March, 1780, they set otf early 
in the morning^ before sunrise, and passed the mouth of Clinch 
River at 3 o'clock. They came up with the Clinch River company 
and joined and encamped with them, the evening being rainy. 
On Monday, the 6th of March, before sunrise, they progressed. 
The morning was foggy, and many of the fleet were much per- 
plexed to find the way, some rowing up the river, some down, 
and some across. In order to collect them together, the "Advent- 
ure" went to shore. By 10 o'clock they were collected and went 
on, and encamped for the night on the north shore. On Tues- 
day, the 7th of March, they recommenced the voyage early in 
the morning. The wind blew strongly from the south-west, the 
river was wide, and the waves ran high: some of the smaller 
crafts were in danger. They therefore came on shore at the upper 
Chiccamauga Town, which was then evacuated, and encamped 
there all night. The wife of Ephraim Peyton was delivered of 
a child. Peyton himself had gone through the wilderness by 
the way of Kentucky, with Capt. James Robertson. 

On Wednesday the 8th of March, 1780, they proceeded down 
the river to an Indian village, which was inhabited. It lay on 
the south side of the river. The Indians invited the crews to 
come on shore, and called them brothers, and showed other 
signs of friendship, in so much that John Donaldson, Jr., the 
son of Col. Donaldson, and John Caffrey, then on board, took 
the canoe which the boat had in tow and were crossing over to 
them, the crew of the boat having landed on the opposite side. 
After they had proceeded some distance, a half-breed of the 
name of Archer Coody, with several other Indians, jumped into 
a canoe, and advised them to return to the boat, which they did, 
together with Coody and several canoes which left the shore 
and followed directly after them. They appeared to be friendly 
after a few presents were distributed amongst them, with which 
they seemed to be well pleased. But on the other side were ob- 
served a number of Indians, embarking in their canoes, armed, 
and daubed with red and black paint. Coody immediately made 
signs to his companions to leave the boat, which they did, him- 
self and another Indian remaining with the crew of the boat, 
and telling them to move off instantly. The crew and boat had 
proceeded but a short distance before they discovered a number 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 101 

of Indians, armed and painted, going down the river in the di- 
rection to intercept the boat. Coody, the half-breed, and his 
companion continued on board of the "Adventure" for about an 
hour, and telling the crew that they had then passed all the 
towns, and were out of danger, left the boat. But in a short 
time the crew came in sight of another town, situated on the 
north side of the river, nearly opposite to a small island. Here, 
also, the Indians invited those on board to come on shore, call- 
ing them brothers, and seeing the boat standing to the opposite 
side, told the passengers that their side was the best for the boat 
to pass the island on. A young man of the name of Payne, who 
was on board the boat of Capt. John Blackmore, approaching too 
near the shore, was shot in the boat from the shore. Mr. Stew- 
art had set off in a boat, with the "Adventure" and others, des- 
tined for the western country. On board this boat were blacks 
and whites to the number of twenty-eight souls. His family being- 
diseased with the small-pox, it was agreed between him and the 
other movers that he should keep at some distance in the rear, 
for fear of spreading the infection amongst them. He was to 
be informed each night where the others lay by the sound of a 
horn. The foremost boats having passed the town, the Indians 
collected in considerable numbers. Seeing him far behind the 
boats in front, they intercepted him in their canoes, and killed 
and made prisoners the whole crew. The crews of the other 
boats were not able to relieve him, but on the contrary, were 
alarmed for their own safety; for they perceived large bodies 
of Indians marching on foot down the river, keeping pace with 
the boats, till the Cumberland Mountains covered them from 
the view of the boats, and the latter hoped that the pursuit was 
given over. The boats were now arrived at the place called the 
Whirl or Suck, where the river is compressed into less than 
half of its common width, by the Cumberland Mountain jutting 
into it on both sides. In passing through the upper part of 
these narrows, at a place described by Coody, and which he 
termed the Boiling Pot, a man by the name of John Cotton was 
descending the river in a canoe with a small family, and being 
fearful that his canoe might not go safely through, he had at- 
tached it to Bobert Cartwright's boat, into which he and his 
family had entered for safety. The canoe was here overturned, 
and the little cargo lost. The movers, pitying his distress, con- 


eluded to laud and assist liim in recovering his property. Hav- 
ing landed on the north shore at a level spot, they began to go 
toward the place where the misfortune had happened, when 
the Indians, to their astonishment, appeared on the opposite 
clifPs, and commenced firing down upon them. This caused a 
precipitate retreat to the boats. The emigrants all immediately 
progressed^ the Indians continuing their fire from the heights 
upon the boats, in which were four persons who were wounded. 
In the boat of Mr. Gower was his daughter, Nancy Gower. 
When the Indians fired upon the boats, the crew being thrown 
into disorder and dismay, she took the helm, and steered the 
boat, exposed to all the fire of the enemy. A ball passed through 
her clothes, and penetrated the upper part of her thigh, going 
out at the opposite side. It was not discovered that she was 
wounded by any complaint she made or words she uttered, but 
after the danger was over her mother discovered the blood 
flowing through her clothes. The wound was dressed, she re- 
covered, and is yet alive, having married Anderson Lucas, the 
same person who was with Spencer in 1782 when wounded by 
the Indians. The boats passed the Suck, the river widening 
with a placid and gentle current, and the emigrants seemed to 
be in safety, but the family of Jonathan Jennings, whose boat 
ran on a large rock projecting from the northern shore, and 
immersed her in the water immediately at the AVhirl. The 
other movers were forced to leave them there, and continued to 
sail on that day, and floated through the night. On Thursday, 
the 9th of March, 1780, they went on floating till midnight, and 
came to a camp on the northern shore. On Friday, the 10th of 
March, 1780, in the morning about 4 o'clock, the people in 
the camp were surprised by a cry for help. Jennings, a con- 
siderable distance up the river, had discovered their fires, and 
came up in a wretched condition. He reported that as soon as 
the Indians had discovered his situation they began to fire at 
him. He ordered his wife and son, who was nearly grown, a 
young man who accompanied them, and two negroes to throw all 
the goods into the river to lighten the boat for the purpose of 
getting her off, himself returning the fire as he could, being in a 
good situation, and an excellent marksman. But before they 
had accomplished their object, his son, the young man, and a 
negro man jumped out of the boat and left them. The son and 


yoiiug man swam to the north side of the river; the negro was 
drowned. On the north side they found a canoe, and embarked 
in it and floated down the river, but unfortunately, on the next 
day, were met by five Indian canoes, full of men, who took them 
prisoners and carried them to Chiccamauga, killed the young 
man and burned him. Jennings they knocked down and were 
about to kill him, but were prevented by Rogers, an Indian 
trader, who paid a price agreed on for him in goods. Mrs. 
Jennings, however, and the negro woman succeeded in unload- 
ing the boat, but chiefly by the exertions of Mrs. Jennings, who 
got out of the boat and shoved it off. The boat started sud- 
denly, and Mrs. Jennings was in danger of being left standing 
upon the rock. They made a wonderful escape. Mrs. Peyton 
(her daughter) was in this boat. She had been delivered the 
night before of a child, which unfortunately was killed on this 
day in the hurry and confusion which overtook them. Mrs. 
Peyton, notwithstanding these severe trials, and being wet and 
cold and without nourishment from the time the boat ran on 
the rock till the 10th of March, still preserved her health and 
did well. The heroines of this day were not Amazons, but they 
resembled the women of Sparta, who preferred a firmness of 
soul and intrepidity in danger to all other qualities, and reward- 
ed those with their esteem who possessed these inestimable virt- 
ues. Whoever has made the experiment has become convinced 
that they have transmitted these qualities without mixture to 
their posterity. 

On the 11th of March, 1780, after distributing the family of 
Jennings into different boats, the emigrants proceeded down the 
river, and at night encamped on the north side. On Tues- 
day, the 12th of March, 1780, they came to an Indian village, as 
it was supposed to be from the crowing of the cocks. Here the 
Indians fired upon the people in the boats again, without doing 
them any damage. About 10 o'clock they came in sight of the 
Muscle Shoals, and landed on the north side above the shoals. 

It had been concerted and agreed upon that Capt. James Rob- 
ertson, who left Big Creek early in the fall of 1779, should pro- 
ceed through Kentucky to the Big Salt Spring on the Cumber- 
land River, with several others in company; and from the Big- 
Salt Spring should come across the country to the upper end of 
the Muscle Shoals, and there make signs by which the boatmen 

104 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

might know that he had been there, and that it was practicable 
for them to go thence across by land to the Big Salt Spring. To 
the great disappointment of the emigrants now landed at the 
Muscle Shoals, they could not find any signs there. They con- 
cluded not to make the attempt to go by laud, but to go down 
the river; well apimsed, however, of the great risk they incurred 
in prosecuting their journey down the river. After trimming 
their boats in the best possible manner, they passed the shoals 
before night. When they approached the shoals they had a 
most dreadful appearance. The water being high, they resound- 
ed to a great distance; but Providence preserved them from this 
danger, and they passed through the shoals unhurt. They passed 
them in about three hours. They had been represented to Col. 
Donaldson to be twenty-five or thirty miles long, but from the 
time taken to pass through them he did not believe them to be 
of that length. On that night they encamped on the north 
shore, near the lower end of the shoals. On the 13th of March, 
1780, they continued to move down the river, and encamped at 
night on the north side. On Tuesday, the 14th of March, 1780, 
early in the morning, they recommenced the voyage. Two of 
the boats, approaching too near the shore, were fired upon by 
the Indians. Five of their crew were wounded, but not danger- 
ously. At night they encamped near the mouth of a creek. 
After kindling their fires and j^reparing for rest, they were 
alarmed by the barking of their dogs, and supposed that the In- 
dians were approaching their camp. They went to their boats 
precipitately, and fell down the river a mile and a half, and 
came to on the opposite shore, and there remained for the night. 
In the bustle and confusion which they were in they left in the 
camp they retreated from an old African negro asleep at the fire. 
In the morning Mr. CafPrey and John Donaldson, the younger, 
took a canoe and crossed the river, and returned to the deserted 
camp, where they found the negro at the fire, still asleep. Such 
of the movers as had left their property at the camp then re- 
turned and collected it. 

On the 15th of the month they got under way, and on the five 
following days, meeting with no obstructions to delay them, they 
came to the mouth of the Tennessee and landed on the lower 
point, immediately on the bank of the Ohio. Here, unexpect- 
edly, they found themselves in difiicult circumstances. The wa- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 105 

ters were high, the current rapid, and their boats were not con- 
structed for stemming a rapid stream. Their provisions were 
exhausted, and the crews were almost worn down with hunger and 
fatigue. They knew not what was the distance to their place of 
destination, nor the time that it would take to perform their jour- 
ney thither. Several boat-crews resolved not to attempt the nav- 
igation of the river against the rapid current it presented; some 
determined to go down the river to Natchez, and others to Illi- 
nois. Accordingly, on Tuesday, the 21st of March, 1780, they 
took an affectionate farewell of each other, each going in the di- 
rection he had chosen— some destined for Natchez, some for Il- 
linois, and some for the Cumberland. The common dangers in 
which they had all been so lately involved, and the friendlj^ in- 
tercourse which these dangers had produced, and the confidence 
which these trials had inspired in each other, made this sej^ara- 
tion peculiarly painful. They were never to see each other 
again. To be thus separated, when recollections of endearment 
perpetually rushed into the mind, was a privation which souls 
true and generous as these could not sustain without a severe 
shock. Reluctantly they parted in sorrow, breathing their mut- 
ual benedictions and putting up their silent prayers to heaven 
with sympathies of the highest excitement. The "Adventure " 
and the boats which accompanied her went up the Ohio. They 
made but little way on that day, and encamped on the south 
bank of the Ohio, suffering on that and the two following days 
much uneasiness from hunger and fatigue. On the 24th of 
March, 1780, they came to the mouth of the Cumberland River, 
but its size was so much less than they had expected to find it 
that some would not believe it to be the Cumberland. It flowed 
in a gentle current. They had heard of no river on the south side 
of the Ohio between the Tennessee and the Cumberland, and 
they determined to go up this as the Cumberland; and they did 

On Saturday, the 25th of March, 1780, the river seemed to 
grow wider, the current was very gentle, and they were now con- 
vinced that it was the Cumberland. Col. Donaldson formed a 
small square sail upon his vessel on the day that they left the 
mouth of the river, and derived much assistance from it. They 
were obliged to keep near the shore, in a great measure, to get 
the vessel along; and very often by the assistance of the trees and 


bushes near the bank. They were apprehensive that should the> 
Indians discover their situation, a few of them might defeat the 
expedition and massacre the most of the crews. They threw 
themselves devoutly and confidently upon the protection of the 
Almighty. That confidence is seldom, if ever, disappointed, and 
it was not upon the present occasion. 

On Sunday, the '26th of March, early in the morning, they 
continued their roiite up the river, and got some buffalo meat„ 
which, though poor, was a welcome acquisition. On Monday, 
the 27th, they killed a swan, which was very delicious. On Tues- 
day, the 28th of March, they got some more buffalo meat. On 
Wednesday they progressed up the river, and got some herbs in 
the Cumberlaud bottom which some of the crew called Shawnee 
salad. They boiled it in water. It was a poor dish, and only 
just better than nothing. On Thursday, the 30th of March, 
1780, they got some more buffalo meat, still going up the 
river, and there encamped on the north side. On Friday, the 
31st of March, they set off early in the morning, and after run- 
ning some distance they came to the place where Col. Richard 
Henderson was encamped on the north side of the river. He, it 
seems, had come in company with those who had run the line to 
this place between North Carolina and Virginia. He gave to 
Col. Donaldson and his associates all the information they de- 
sired; and, further, he informed them that he had purchased a 
quantity of corn in Kentucky for the use of the Cumberland 
settlement. The crews were now without bread, and were obliged 
to hunt the buffalo and feed on his flesh. 

On Saturday, the 1st of April, 1780, they still went up the 
river, and so did until the 12th, at which time they came to the 
mouth of a small river running in on the north side, and which 
by Moses Renfro and his company was called Red River. Up 
this river they determined to settle, and here they took leave of 
Col. Donaldson and his associates, the "Adventure" and other 
boats still going slowly up the river, the current becoming more 
rapid than it was farther down. On the 21st of April they 
reached the first settlement on the north side of the river, below 
the Big Salt Lick, which was called Eaton's Station after a man 
by that name, who with other families had come through Ken- 
tucky and settled there. 

On the 24th of April, 1780, they came to the Big Salt Lick, 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 107 

where they found Capt. James Robertson and his company, and 
where they were gratified at meeting those friends whom but 
little before it was doubtful whether they should ever see or not. 
They there also found a few log cabins, erected by Capt. Rob- 
ertson and his associates on a cedar bluff on the south side of 1/ 
the river, at some distance from the Salt Springs. Some of 
those who came with Col. Donaldson, the whole of them not be- 
ing recollected, were Robert Cartwright and family, Benjamin 
Porter and family, Mary Henry (a widow ) and her family, Mary 
Purnell and her family, James Cain and his family, Isaac Neely 
and his family, John Cotton and his family, old Mr. Rounsever 
and his family, Jonathan Jennings and his family, William 
Crutclifield and his family, Moses Renfroe and his family, Jo- 
seph Renfroe and his family, James Renfroe and his family, 
Solomon Turpin and his family, old Mr. Johns and his family, 
Francis Armstrong and his family, Isaac Lanier and his family, 
Daniel Dunham and his family, John Boyd and his family, John 
Montgomery and his family, John Cockrill and his family, John 
Donaldson and his family, John Caffrey and his family, John 
Donaldson, Jr., and his family, Mrs. Robertson (the wife of 
Capt. James Robertson), John Blackmore, and John Gibson. 

Some time afterward. Col. Donaldson and his connections 
went up the Cumberland to Stone's River, and up it to a place 
now called Clover Bottom, and there built a small fort on the 
south side of the river. Being some time afterward incommoded 
by freshets, and the water rising so as to drown the fort, he re- 
moved to the other side of the river. About this time Dr. 
Walker, one of the Virginia commissioners for running the 
boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina, arrived at 
the bluff. Henderson soon afterward erected a station on Stone's 
River, at the place called Old Fields, now Clover Bottom, and 
he remained there a considerable time. AVhen he left that place 
for North Carolina, the station broke up, and the inhabitants re- 
moved to the French Lick Station. Whilst there he sold lands 
to divers persons, under the deed made by the Indians to him- 
self and partners in 1775. He sold one thousand acres per head, 
at the rate of ten dollars per thousand. When he received the 
money, he gave a certificate which entitled the holder at a fut- 
ure time to further proceeding in the land office. Col. Hender- 
son had two brothers with him, Nathaniel Henderson and Pleas- 


ant Henderson. The former kept a book in which were record- 
ed the entries of land which were purchased from the colonel, 
and were intended to be afterward secured to the purchasers. 
The right of the Indians to the soil was then much less defined 
and understood than at this day. It had been an established 
maxim of national law amongst the European monarchs who em- 
braced the doctrines of the Reformation that the pope had not — 
as he formerly pretended — as the vicegerent of Christ and the 
successor of St. Peter, a right to dispose of all unsettled and in- 
fidel countries; but, on the contrary, that the first discoverer of 
such places who took possession in the name of their sovereign 
entitled the country of the discoverer to the dominion and sov- 
ereignty of the soil. Without this maxim the rights to lands 
within chartered limits are without a solid basis to support them. 
The maxim, it is true, is beyond the limits of ordinary compre- 
hension, and, like compensation in the case of common recovery, 
is founded upon a presumption which the law will not suffer to 
be disproved. Its best support is found in another consanguin- 
eous maxim, which is that "de legihus uoii efif (lispiitan(ht)ny The 
right to the soil being thus established in the community, and the 
right of the Indians being only usufructuary — and that too by the 
favor and permission of the allodial owners, the State, or the com- 
munity — in consequence it follows that no individual purchase 
can be valid. Upon this gound it was that such purchases were 
forbidden, both under the regal government and by the Consti- 
tution of North Carolina, ( 

When the first settlers came to this bluff in ip9-80, the 
country had the appearance of one which had never been cul- 
tivated. There were no signs of any cleared land nor other 
appearance of former cultivation. Nothing was presented to 
the eye but one large plain of woods and cane, frequented by 
buffaloes, elk, deer, wolves, foxes, panthers, and other animals 
suited to the climate. The land adjacent to the French Lick, 
which Mr. Mansco in 1769 called an old field, was a large, open 
piece, frequented and trodden by buffaloes, whose large paths 
led to it from all parts of the country, and there concen- 
tered. On these adjacent lands was no undergrowth nor cane 
as far as the creek reached in time of high water; or, rather, as 
far as the backwater reached. The country, as far as to Elk 
River and beyond it, had not a single permanent inhabitant ex- 


cept the wild beasts of the forest, but it had been inhabited 
many centuries before by a numerous population. At every last- 
ing spring is a large collection of graves, made in a particular 
way, with the heads inclined on the sides and feet stones, the 
whole covered with a stratum of mold and dirt about eight or ten 
inches deep. At many springs is the appearance of walls in- 
closing ancient habitations, the foundations of which were visi- 
ble wherever the earth was cleared and cultivated, to which walls 
intrenchments were sometimes added. These walls sometimes 
inclose six, eight, or ten acres of land; and sometimes they are 
more extensive. Judging from the number and frequency of 
these appearances, it cannot be estimated but that the former 
inhabitants were ten times, if not twenty times, more numerous 
than those who at present occupy the country. Voracious time 
has drawn them, with the days of other ages, into her capacious 
stomach, where, dissolving into aliments of oblivion, they have 
left to be saved from annihilation only the faint and glimmering 
chronicles of their former being. Were it not for the short al- 
phabet which we now have, possessing the wonderful power of 
perpetuating the existence of things in some future age, the 
fresh-born man of the day, traveling over the remains of our- 
selves, might find himself puzzled with the perplexing question: 
What human being formerly lived here? 

Early in January, 1780, a party of about sixty Indians from 
the Delaware tribe came from toward Caney Fork of the Cum- 
berland River, and passed by the head of Mill Creek, on a 
branch of which they encamped, whence it has since been called 
Indian Creek. They thence proceeded to Bear Creek, of the 
Tennessee, and continued there during the summer. This is 
supposed to be the first party which molested the whites on the 


Sevier Made Colonel Commandant of Wasliington in 1781 — Commissioners to Treat 
with the Indians — Cherokees Embodied to Fall on tiie Frontiers — Martin 
Marches to the Nation — Sevier Marciies to the Middle Settlements and Tuok- 
asejah; Killed Fifty Men; Made Prisoners Fifty Women and Children; Burned 
Fifteen or Twenty Towns — Sevier Attacked an Indian Camp on Indian Creek; 
Killed Fifteen — Indians Made Peace in the Summer of 1781 — ^Lord Cornwal- 
lis — Gen. Greene — Col. Morgan — Sevier and Shelby — Resolution of the Assem- 
bly of North Carolina — Col. Arthur Campbell — Col. William Preston, Slielby, 
and Sevier March to South Carolina — Join Marion — Post near Monk's Corner 
Taken — Battle of Eutaw — Surrender of Lord Cornwallis — Desperation and 
Flight of the Tories into the Cherokee Nation — Gen. Pickens Requested of 
Sevier to Make the Indians Drive Them Away — The Practice of Plundering 
Had Greatly Increased — Severely Reprobated by Gen. Pickens — Land Ofhce 
Closed by the Assembly in 1781 — Indian Hostilities in 1782 — Expedition by Se- 
vier to Chiccamauga, and Thence to Will's Town and Other Towns; Killed 
Some of the Indians; Burned Their Towns — The War of the Revolution Ended 
— Land Office Opened in 1783, and an Office for the Military Lands — Tiie 
Western Boundary Enlarged — Hunting-grounds Reserved for the Clierokees 
— Greene County — Bounds of the Military Lands — John Armstrong's Office^ 
Locality of Entries Fixed — Judicial Decisions — Surveyor of Greene County 
— Settlements, Extent of, 1783. 

ON the 3d of February, 1781, Gov. Nash signed a commis- 
sion appointing Sevier to be the Colonel Commandant of 
Washington County; and on the 6th of the same month Gen. 
Greene, by commission, authorized William Christian, William 
Preston, Arthur Campbell, and Joseph Martin, of Virginia; and 
Robert Lanier, Evan Slielby, Joseph Williams, and John Sevier, 
of the State of North Carolina, or any five of them, to meet com- 
missioners to be appointed on the part of the Cherokees and 
Chickasaws, for the purpose of adjusting the respective limits 
of each party, for exchange of prisoners, a suspension of hostil- 
ities, and the conclusion of peace; or any thing else, for the es- 
tablishment of harmony and a good understanding between the 
parties, subject to the confirmation of Congress. They were to 
observe the boundary line between North Carolina and Virginia, 
and to exchange such pledges for the observance of the treaty 
to be concluded on as might be thought necessary. And were 
to call on the militia to prevent future encroachments on the 

Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. Ill 

Indian lands; and to call on the Indians to appoint proper com- 
missioners from among themselves to go to Congress, for the 
obtaining of such enlargement and confirmation of the treaty as 
may appear to them requisite. This commission was to continue 
in force till revoked by the commanding officer of the Southern 
Department, or by Congress. Notwithstanding these overtures 
on the part of the United States, and severe punishment so 
lately inflicted upon them, the Indians had but little, if at all, 
abated their invincible passion for war and glory, which con- 
stantly agitates the savage breast. 

In the month of February, in this year, Col. Joseph Martin 
lived upon the Long Island of the Holston, opposite to which, 
on the east side, was a fort, built by Col. William Christian in 
1776, which was garrisoned, up to 1781, with men raised on the 
Holston and Watauga. In this month he received notice by the 
Indian traders. Grant Williams and Archibald Coody, that the 
Cherokees were embodied, and would be upon the frontier as 
soon as the latter could be prepared for them. He collected 
three or four hundred men at the Long Island, and marched 
from thence to the Indian towns. He crossed the Holston with 
his troops, and went to the Watauga; thence to the Nolichucky, 
the French Broad, Little River, the Tennessee, the Tellico, Old 
Chota, and to the Tamotley. They burned and destroyed the 
corn belonging to the Indians, and killed some of them. They 
met the Indians between the Little Tennessee and the Tellico, and 
fought with and defeated them. They took twenty or thirty 
Indian prisoners, and returned home by the same route they 
came. Col. Campbell arrived at the Long Island, and dis- 
patched runners to discover where the troops under Martin 
were. They met the latter returning. Col. Campbell remained 
at the Long Island three months, giving to the inhabitants there 
all the assistance in his power against the common enemy. 

The Indians still persevering in their hostile course, which 
they had for some time pursued, a number of men to the amount 
of one hundred and thirty collected together, in March, 1781, in 
the Greasy Cove of Nolichucky River, with Col. John Sevier at 
their head, and marched into the Middle Settlements of the 
Cherokees (on the head waters of Little Tennessee River), and 
entered the town of Tuckasejah, where they killed fifty men, 
and made prisoners fifty women and children, ten of whom re- 

112 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

sided with Col. Sevier three years before they were exchanged. 
Then they were delivered to Col. Joseph Martin, and by him 
were restored to their own nation. In the vicinity o£ Tuckase- 
jah they burned fifteen or twenty towns and all the granaries or 
corn they could find. The whites had one man killed and one 
wounded, who recovered. 

In the summer of this year (1781^ Col. Sevier attacked a camp 
of the Inrfiians on Indian Creek. They had come into the neigh- 
borhood of the frontiers to plunder. He went from Washing- 
ton County with troops, supposed to be one hundred; crossed 
the French Broad at the War Ford ; crossing, also, the Big Pig- 
eon at the War Ford. He arrived at their camp, and the whites 
made the attack. The latter surrounded the camp of the In- 
dians, and killed seventeen of them; the rest fled in a body, 
supposed to be thirty. He returned with his troops by nearly 
the same route. So many severe chastisements induced the In- 
dians to wish for peace, and it was made with them without dif- 
ficulty in the summer of 1781. 

The year 1781 was signalized by more military action in the 
States of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia than 
had been exhibited there during the whole war. The tories were 
everywhere in arms, committing the most shocking barbarities. 
A large body of British troops pressing upon a corps of Amer- 
ican troops, under the command of Col. Morgan, with more pre- 
cipitancy than suited their circumstance and with a contempt of 
the ailnoyance which he could give them, which but little befitted 
the vigilance of a prudent commander, had fallen into an ambus- 
cade which Morgan had prepared for them, and in a moment 
when they expected no danger were involved in irretrievable 
ruin, and were compelled, to the number of nearly one thousand 
men, to throw down their arms and surrender themselves pris- 
oners. Col. Tarleton, with a small remnant only of the British 
troops, escaped, and fled with the utmost precipitation to the 
main body of the British forces, so closely followed by an Amer- 
ican officer of great celebrity as to render his evasion extremely 
difficult. Morgan, knowing the value of his prize, determined 
immediately to proceed with the utmost dispatch to some place^ 
in Virginia where his prisoners could be securely lodged. Lord 
Cornwallis followed him without the loss of a moment's time;, 
and Gen. Greene, fearful of the consequence of permitting his 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 113 

Lordsliip to repossess himself of tlie prisoners, with equal 
diligence inarched to join the troops under his immediate com- 
mand to those who were with Col. Morgan. He joined him 
accordingly, and was so closely followed by Lord Cornwallis 
that in many places on the road the van of the advancing army 
and the rear of the retreating army were in view at the same 
time. The pursuit was continued to Dan River, on the confines 
of Virginia; but the prisoners were advanced to a place of safe- 
ty, and the pursuit, no longer having an object, was discontin- 
ued. Gen. Greene, receiving re-enforcements both from Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina, became in his turn the pursuer. He 
followed his Lordship with cautious steps to Hillsboro, in 
North Carolina, and thence to Guilford Court-house, where he 
engaged his army for some hours, and so much disabled it as to 
make it necessary for them to retreat to Wilmington. Gen. 
Greene followed close upon their heels for some time, and at 
length turned off to South Carolina to drive the British outposts 
into Charleston and to suppress and punish the insurgent tories. 
Lord Cornwallis, after refreshing his troops for some time in 
Wilmington, marched by way of Halifax into Virginia, where by 
fate he was finally conducted to Little York. 

While the British were thus in pursuit of Gen. Greene's army, 
the Assembly of North Carolina, then in session at Halifax, 
turned their eyes to Shelby and Sevier, and rested their hopes 
upon them. They resolved, on the 13th of February, that Col. 
Isaac Shelby, of Sullivan County, and John Sevier, Esq., of 
Washington County, be infoi^med by this resolution, which shall 
be communicated to them, that the General Assembly of this 
State are feelingly impressed with the very generous and patri- 
otic services rendered by the inhabitants of the said counties, to 
which their influence has to a great degree contributed. And 
it was urgently urged that they would press a continuance of the 
same active exertion; that the state of the country was such as to 
call forth its utmost powers immediately, in order to preserve its 
freedom and independence; and that we may profit by the assist- 
ance of our friends in Virginia, as they have occasionally by us 
as emergences induced them to avail of it, we suggest our wishes 
that Col. Arthur Campbell and Col. William Preston, of Virginia, 
through the gentlemen mentioned, may be informed that their 
spirited conduct heretofore, in favor of the Southern States, a£- 

114 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

fords us the most perfect assurance that they will make every 
active and effectual exertion at the present critical moment in 
favor of this State. 

Gov. Caswell, an intimate acquaintance of Col. Shelby, de- 
picted to him the melancholy circumstances of his own State. 
A part of the British forces, under the command of Maj. Craig, 
to the number of four hundred, with about five hundred tories, 
had marched from Wilmington to Newbern, by way of Duplin, 
Dobbs, and Jones Counties. They repulsed the militia in the 
respective counties as they passed through them, with little loss. 
At Newbern they destroyed all the salt, rum, sugar, and mer- 
chandise of every kind; burned and destroyed the few vessels 
which were in the harbor. From thence they marched up the 
Neuse road, passing by Gen. Bryant's, Capt. Heretage's, Mr. 
Longfield Cock's; and across by Daniel Shiner's, on the Trent, 
by the head of New River, and returned to Wilmington, The 
tories were in motion all over North Carolina, and their foot- 
steps were marked with blood, and their path was indicated by 
the most desolating devastations. Gov. Caswell conjured him 
to turn to the relief of his distressed country. Shelby, however, 
consulted his own judgment upon the course which would ren- 
der the most essential service to the common cause, and deter- 
mined to assist in clearing South Carolina of all the British and 
tories who were stationed at places without the precincts of 

The scenes of action were in South Carolina and Virginia. 
North Carolina was left to fall or be supported by the event of 
the transactions which were then going on. The tories, how- 
ever, were very indefatigable in their endeavors to enslave their 
country, and every day some life was sacrificed to their implaca- 
ble fury. A considerable body of them, under the command of 
Fleming, stole very unexpectedly into Hillsboro, on the 12th 
of September, and made prisoner Gov. Burke, with several other 
persons of note, and marched toward Wilmington. The Amer- 
ican troops succeeded in dislodging the British from nearly all 
the stations which they occupied beyond the limits of Charles- 
ton, and finally so straitened them for want of room and provis- 
ions as to force them to action at the Eutaw Springs, on the 8th 
of September, in which the American army captured five hun- 
dred of them and one thousand stands of arms. 


About the same time a French fleet arrived in the Chesapeake 
Bay, with a considerable body of land forces on board, with a 
view to co-operate in the reduction of Lord Cornwallis and all 
his troops to the surrender of themselves as prisoners of war to 
the armies of the United States. At this crisis, on the 16th of 
September, Gen. Greene w^rote to Col. Sevier. He gave informa- 
tion to the colonel of these several events, and of the suspicions 
which were entertained that Lord Cornwallis would endeavor to 
escape by marching back' through North Carolina to Charleston ; 
to prevent which Gen. Greene begged of the colonel to bring 
as large a body of riflemen as he could, and as soon as possible 
to march them to Charleston. Col. Sevier immediately raised 
two hundred men in the county of Washington, and marched 
to the relief of the well affected in South Carolina, who were 
suffering extremely by the cruelties which the tories were in- 
flicting upon them. He joined his forces to those of Gen. Mar- 
ion, on the Santee, at Davis's Ferry, and contributed in no 
small degree to keep up resistance to the enemy, to raise the 
spirits of those who were friendly to the American cause, and to 
afford an asylum to those who were in danger from the infuri- 
ated tories. Lord Cornwallis was now besieged in Torktown, and 
his retreat through North Carolina being no longer apprehended, 
and as the enemy in South Carolina were ravaging the country 
in the parish of St. Stephens, Gen. Greene, with a design of 
putting a stop to their depredations and straitening them in the 
articles of supplies, endeavored, on the 11th of October, to col- 
lect a force sufficient to drive them into Charleston; but he 
awaited the arrival of Sevier to begin his operations. 

On the 19th Lord Cornwallis and the army under his com- 
mand surrendered to the arms of the United States and France. 
The war between the whigs and tories had grown to be a war of 
extermination, and quarter was neither asked nor expected on 
either side. Col. Shelby likewise was called down to the lower 
country, about the last of September, to aid in intercepting 
Lord Cornwallis, at that time blockaded by the French fleet in 
the Chesapeake, and who it was suspected would CTjdeavor to 
make good his retreat through North Carolina to Charleston, 
but when his Lordship surrendered in Virginia both Shelby and 
Sevier were attached to Marion's camp below, on the Santee. 
Shelby and Sevier consented to this with some reluctance, as 


their men were only called out for sixty days, and Shelby was a 
member of the North Carolina Assembly, which was to meet at 
Salem in the beginning of December following. They, however, 
joined Marion early in November, with five hundred mounted 
riflemen. The enemy, at that time under Gen. Stewart, lay at a 
place called Ferguson's Swamp, on the great road leading to 
Charleston. Gen. Marion received information several weeks 
after their arrival at his camp that several hundred Hessians at 
a British post near Monks' Corner, eight or ten miles below the 
enemy's main army, were in a state of mutiny, and would sur- 
render the post to any considerable American force that might 
appear before it; and he soon determined to send a detachment 
to surprise it. Sevier and Shelby solicited a command in the 
detachment. Marion accordingly moved down eight or ten 
miles, and crossed over to the south side of the Santee Kiver, 
from whence he made a detachment of five or six hundred men 
to surprise the post, the command of which was given to Col. 
Mayhem, of the South Carolina Dragoons. The detachment 
consisted of parts of Sevier's and Shelby's regiments, with May- 
hem's Dragoons — about a hundred and eighty — and twenty or 
thirty lowland militia. They took up the line of march early in 
the morning; traveled fast through the woods, crossing the main 
Charleston road, leaving the enemy's main army some three or 
four miles to the left; and on the evening of the second day 
again struck the road leading to Charleston, about two miles be- 
low the enemy's post which they intended to surprise. They 
lay upon their arms all night across the road, to intercept the 
Hessians, in case the enemy had got notice of their approach and 
had ordered those Hessians to Charleston before morning. 

In the course of the night an orderly sergeant of the enemy, 
from their main army, rode in amongst the American troops and 
was taken prisoner. No material jaaper was found upon him that 
night, which was very dark, before he made his escape, except 
some returns which contained the strength of the enemy's main 
army and their number on the sick list, which was very great. 

As soon as daylight appeared, Mayhem, with those under his 
command, advanced to the British post and sent in a confiden- 
tial person to demand the immediate surrender of the garrison, 
who in a few minutes returned and reported that the officer 
commanding would defend the post to the last extremity. 

Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 117 

Shelby then proposed to Mayhem to go himself and make an- 
other effort to obtain a surrender, which he readily consented 
to. Shelby approached the garrison and assured the com- 
mander in chief that should he be so mad as to suffer a storm 
every soul within would be put to death, for there were 
several hundred mountaineers at hand who would soon be 
in with their tomahawks upon the garrison. The officer in- 
quired of Shelby if they had any artillery, to which he replied 
that they had guns which would blow him to atoms in a moment, 
upon which the officer said, " I suppose I must surrender," and 
immediately threw open the gate, which Mayhem saw and ad- 
vanced quickly with the detachment. It was not until this mo- 
ment that the American officer saw another strong British post 
five or six hundred yards to the east, which they understood was 
built to cover a landing on Cooper River. The garrison, about 
one hundred strong, and forty or fifty dragoons, marched out as 
if with a design to charge the American troops; but soon halted, 
seeing that the latter stood firm and were prepared to meet them. 
Mayhem took one hundred and fifty prisoners, all of them able to 
have fought from the windows of a brick building which was there 
and from behind the abatis ; ninety of them only were able to stand 
or march that day to the American camp, which was nearly sixty 
miles distant Mayhem paroled the remainder, most of whom 
appeared to have been sick, but were then convalescent. Gen. 
Stewart, who commanded the main army, eight or ten miles 
above, made great efforts to intercept this detachment on its re- 
turn; but Mayhem, with those under his command, arrived at 
Marion's camp about 3 o'clock the morning following, and there 
it was announced before sunrise that the whole British army 
was in the old field, three miles off, at the outer end of the 
causeway that led into Marion's camp. Sevier and Shelby were 
ordered out with their regiments to attack him, should he ap- 
proach the swamp, and to retreat at their own discretion. On 
receiving information that Marion had been re-enforced with 
a large body of riflemen from the west, the enemy retreated in 
great disorder near to the gates of Charleston. 

About the 28th of November Shelby obtained leave of ab- 
sence to attend the Assembly of North Carolina, of which he 
was a member, which was to meet at Salem early in December, 
whence, in a day or two after his arrival, it adjourned to meet 


again at Hillsboro in April, 1782. In 1782 lie was again a 
member of the Legislature, where he was appointed to adjust 
preemption claims in Cumberland and lay off the lands allotted 
to the State troops in the continental army. In the winter fol- 
lowing he and his colleagues performed that service, and imme- 
diately afterward he settled where he now lives in Kentucky. 
Sevier, with his troops, reached home early in January, 1782. 

The battle of Eutaw and the surrender of Lord Cornwallis 
covered the tories with dismay and confusion, mixed with des- 
peration. A great number of them took shelter among the 
Cherokees, and continued to threaten the neighboring countries 
with devastation. Gen. Pickens requested Col. Sevier to make 
the Indians drive them out of the country. Many and great 
were the miseries of these times, and, amongst tlie rest, the prac- 
tice of plundering, both by whigs and tories, had grown to an 
alarming excess, and had reduced both Georgia and South Car- 
olina to tlie most afflicting poverty. The Whigs, as they got pos- 
session of any valuable property, retired from the army to take 
care of it. Every soldier began to look for an opiDortunity to 
plunder, and when the officers gave countenance to their de- 
signs, insubordination immediately took place and discord en- 
sued. They thought no longer of defending the country, plun- 
der being the object of the common men; they thought it was 
also the object of the officers when in the least countenanced, 
and for want of confideuce in their superiors would no longer 
obey them. " Who are the virtuous few," said Pick jus, "who will 
defend the country which others are robbing of its riches, and 
not caring when the war will end?" Examples, he insisted, 
must be made to prevent this practice, or the country will con- 
quer itself. "The object of those who are in arms," said he, 
"is property ; they regard neither whig nor tory." A vast number 
of negroes and property were taken from South Carolina and 
Georgia and carried away, and a great number of free persons 
of color were seized and hurried from their acquaintances and 
friends into remote countries, where their color condemned them 
to slavery and where they had no means to procure the evidence 
which proved their freedom. But to the honor of the troops 
under Sevier and Shelby, no such captives or property came 
with them into the countries of their residences; their integrity 
was as little impeached as their valor. 

Haywood's histoby of Tennessee. 119 

The Assembly of North Carolina, in June, 1781, consid- 
ering the great pressure of the times, the difficulties which 
had arisen from the defeat of the American army under 
the command of Gen. Gates, in August, 1780, at Camden, as 
likewise from the consequent irruption of the British forces 
into North Carolina; considering also the general insurrection 
of the tories and the numerous devastations they were every- 
where committing, together with the astonishing depreciation 
of the paper money occasioned by these events, deemed it expe- 
dient to close the land office, and they did so. It was not opened 
again till after the war was terminated. Not a moment of re- 
laxation was now left froni the toils and dangers of war; its 
ravages were carried to every plantation and family in all parts 
of Georgia and South Carolina, and in many parts of North 
Carolina; the horrors of war were exhibited in every shape which 
it can put on. This state of things continued without material 
alteration through the whole of the year 1782. The Indians re- 
tained their deep-rooted animosities, and in September of this 
year were hurried by revengeful spirits to the frontiers. The 
Chickamauga Indians and those of the lower Cherokee towns 
went thither with some of the Creeks, killed some of the set- 
tlers, and took away their horses. CoL Sevier immediately 
summoned to his standard a luriidred men from the county of 
AVashington, and was joined by CoL Anderson with seventy or 
seventy-five from Sullivan, all of whom rendezvoused at the Big 
Island on French Broad River, and from thence marched to the 
upper towns of the Cherokees, who were at peace. There they 
procured John Watts, who afterward became a celebrated chief 
of the Cherokee Nation, to conduct them to Chiccamauga, and 
from thence to Will's Town and to Turkey Town, thence to Bull 
Town and to Vann's Town, and thence by the Hiwassee to Chesto. 
In this expedition they killed some of the Indians, and, as usual, 
burned their towns. They returned home by way of the Big 
Island in the French Broad Eiver. The officers in this ex- 
pedition, who were of grades inferior to those of Col. Sevier, 
were Jonathan Tipton and James Hubbard; the captains were 
McGreen and others. They camped on the first day on Ellijay; 
on the second they crossed Little Eiver and encamped on Nine 
Mile Creek; on the third they crossed the Tennessee at Cittico, 
and there held a council with the friendly Indians, at which 

120 Haywood's history of Tennessee 

was present the Hanging Maw. They engaged to be at peace. 
On the fifth day they crossed the Tellico on the Hiwassee trace; 
on the sixth day they encamped on the Hiwassee Kiver, above 
the former agency; on the seventh they crossed the Hiwassee 
and encamped in an Indian town on the opposite bank; 
thence they marched to Vann's Town and destroyed it; thence 
to Bull Town, on the head of Chiccamauga Creek. John Watts 
there brought in a white woman by the name of Jane Iredell, 
who had been taken some time before^, and delivered her to the 
commanding officer. The troops destroyed Bull Town and 
marched to Coosa Biver, a distance of thirty miles. Near a 
village on the river they killed a white man who called himself 
"Clements." He had papers which showed that he had been a 
British sergeant. He was then with an Indian woman called 
Nancy Coody. Thence they marched to Spring Frog Town; 
thence up the Coosa to Estanaula and destroyed it ; thence through 
the old Hiwassee towns to Chota, on the Tennessee Biver, where 
the friendly Indians and whites held a council; and thence the 
troops returned home. 

The War of the Bevolution, which had fallen with such de- 
structive weight upon the Southern States, was now drawing to 
a close. Every heart palpitated with joy at the prospect of peace 
and independence. The opening of the year 1783 found them 
in possession of both; the storm of civil discord was tranquillized, 
and the whole community became intent upon the reparation of 
the shattered population and fortunes of the country. The 
foundations of a magnificent structure were laid, which will one 
day tower to the heavens and be viewed with admiration by the 
whole earth, unless the builders, like those of the Tower of Babel, 
shall, by disunion and confusion, be dispersed in fragments to all 
parts of the earth. 

The Assembly of North Carolina began immediately to pre- 
pare for the extinction of her national debt, and for paying the 
arrears then due to the officers and soldiers of that part of the 
continental line which was raised in the State of North Carolina. 
The people had then a lively and stimulating sense of the great 
obligations they were under to this patriotic band of heroes. 
But soon it began to die away, and after a short space the im- 
pressions which were once so deep were no longer discernible. 
In May, 1783, they opened an office for the sale of western lands. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 121 

Witliout any previous consultation with the Indians they en- 
larged the western boundary. Beginning on the liue which di- 
vided that State from Virginia, at a point due north of the 
mouth of Cloud's Creek, running thence west to the Missis- 
sippi; thence down the Mississippi to the thirty-fifth degree 
of north latitude; thence due east until it strikes the Appalach- 
ian Mountains; thence with the Appalachian Mountains to the 
ridge that divides the waters of the French Broad Kiver and the 
waters of Nolichucky River, and wnth that ridge until it strikes 
the line described in the act of 1778, commonly called Brown's 
line; and with that line and those several water-courses to the 
beginning. But they reserved for the Cherokee hunting- 
grounds a tract of country beginning at the Tennessee, where 
the southern boundary of North Carolina intersects the same 
nearest to the Chiccamauga towns; thence up the middle of the 
Tennessee and Holston to the middle of the French Broad Biver, 
which lines are not to include any island or islands in said river, 
to the mouth of Big Pigeon Eiver; thence up the same to the 
head thereof; thence along the dividing ridge between the wa- 
ters of Pigeon Biver and Tuckasejah Biver to the southern 
boundary of this State. At the same session they divided the 
county of Washington again and formed a part of it into Greene 
County. The dividing line began at William Williams's, in the 
fork of Horse Creek, at the foot of Iron Mountain; thence a di- 
rect course to George Gillespie's house, at or near the mouth of 
Big Limestone; thence a north course to tlue line which divides 
the counties of Washington and Sullivan; thence with said line 
to the Chimney Top Mountain; thence a direct course to the 
mouth of Cloud's Creek, on the Holston Biver. That part of 
Washington which lay to the west of this line was thenceforward 
to be the county of Greene. The Assembly also laid off a district 
for the exclusive satisfaction of the officers and soldiers in that 
part of the late continental line which was raised in North Caro- 
lina. The claims to be satisfied were founded upon certain 
promises held out to them by the Legislature of North Carolina 
in May, 1780. They shortly afterward provided that in case of 
a deficiency of good laud in this district to satisfy their claims, 
the same might be entered upon any vacant lands in this State, 
which should be appropriated for their satisfaction by grant. 
On the 20th of October, in the year 1783, according to an act 

122 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

passed for the purpose in May, John Armstrong's office was 
opened at Hillsboro for the sale of western land included in 
these reservations or in the counties of Washington and Sul- 
livan, at the rate of ten pounds specie certificates per hun- 
dred. These certificates were issued by Boards of Auditors 
appointed by public authority for services performed, and ar- 
ticles impressed or furnished in the time of the Revolution- 
ary War were made payable in specie. The lands were to be 
entered in tracts of five thousand acres, or less, at the option 
of the enterer. Vast numbers of persons crowded to the oflice, 
and were so clamorous and disorderly that no business could 
be done in the office till the 23d, before which time they agreed 
to settle by lot the order in which their locations should be 
presented to be entered in the entry-taker's book. By the 25th of 
May, 1784, vast quantities of land were entered, and certificates 
to a very large amount had been paid into the public offices. 
A provision in the laws directing surveys to be made to the car- 
dinal points rendered it wholly unnecessary to resort to such 
constructions for fixing the localities of entries as the judges 
of Kentucky were forced to resort to for want of that provision. 
In this State, if a beginning were called for, and the direction 
of the survey could be ascertained by implication from the words 
of the entry, immediately the court applied the courses in that 
direction to the beginning, as if the same had been exi)ressed 
in the entry as they were in the law; and the next line was de- 
termined by the objects it was to adjoin or include. The same 
precise certainty could not be attained when an object was to be 
included, and it was not said in the entry in what part of the 
survey. But the law cured this mischief also, for it directed the 
surveys to be made in the same order in which the entries had 
been; and when that was done, the unappropriated lands left for 
the subsequent enterer were distinguishable and certain. The 
latter enterer had nothing to do but wait till the former entry 
was surveyed, and then, without incurring the least risk, he might 
proceed to make his survey. Many enterers, however, would not 
abide by these provisions, and made surveys before those on 
former entries had been completed. The consequence was that 
very frequently subseqiient surveys upon former entries included 
within their bounds part of the lands surveyed for latter entries. 
The judges gave preference to the latter grant upon a former en- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee; 123 

try, if the survey were made upon that entry as the law di- 
rected. To prevent this relation of title to the date of the 
entry, attempts were made to define special entries, so as to ex- 
clude the one in question, to which preference by relation was 
claimed from that character. But the judges very wisely gave 
to entries such interpretations as would save them from destruc- 
tion, whenever it could be done. At length, the attempt was 
made in imitation of the Kentucky decisions, to centralize in the 
survey the objects called for in the entry; than which nothing 
could have produced more confusion nor a greater disturbance 
of title. These innovations received some countenance at first, 
but at length the supreme tribunals of the country have given 
them such a decided condemnation by many repeated determi- 
nations, as nearly to put to rest the numerous controversies 
which were likely to spring up from them. 

By a subsequent law of the next session, the surveyor of 
Greene County was allowed to survey all lands for which war- 
rants might be granted by John Armstrong, lying westward of 
the Appalachian Mountains, and including all the lands on the 
waters of Holston from the mouth of French Broad Biver up- 
ward to the bounds of Washington and Sullivan Counties, exclu- 
sive of the entries made by the entry-taker of Greene County. 

The settlements, in the year 1783 and in the next year, ex- 
tended as far as to the Big Island in the French Broad Biver, 
thirty miles above Knoxville, and thirty to Little and Big Pig- 
eon Bivers. There were also a few settlements on Boyd's Creek. 
On the north side they had not reached as low down as where 
Bogersville now is, but only as far as Big Creek, three or four 
miles above. 


Persons Killed and Wounded by the Indians in 1780 — Whites Routed and the 
Greater Part Killed on Battle Creek — Leiper Routs a Party of Indians — The 
Crew of a Boat All Killed on Stone's River — Hunters Supplied the Settlers 
with Meat — Many of tJie Settlers Removed to Kentucky, and Some to Illinois 
— Lands Promised the Soldiers in 1780 by a Resolution of the Assembly of 
North Carolina — Freeland's Station Attacked, 1781 — Great Devastations Com- 
mitted by the Indians; Those in DifFereat Stations Fled to the Bluffs; Many 
Removed to Kentucky or Went Down the River — Battle of the Bluff — Indian 
Ambuscade — Persons Killed — Killed and Wounded 1782 — Custom When Two 
or More of the Iniiabitants Met — Proposition Made to Break up the Settle- 
ments — Capt. Robertson Earnestly Opposes It — His Reasons — Persons Killed 
in 1782 — Right of Preemption Allowed to the Settlers in Cumberland by the 
Assembly of North Carolina — Court of Equity Established — New Settlers from 
North Carolina in 1782 — Commissioners and Guard in 1783 to Lay Off the 
Military Lands — Settlers Encouraged by Their Presence, and Their Strength 
Added To — Relinquish the Design of Removal — Gen. Greene's Lands Laid Off 
— Continental Line — Officers' and Soldiers' Line — Lands not Purchased by 
Individuals for Their Own Use from the Indians — Col. Henderson — Grant of 
the Assembly to Him and His Partners for Their Trouble — Davidson County — 
Officers, Civil and Military, Appointed — Domestic Government of the First Set- 
tlers — Entry Taken of Preemption Entries — Persons Killed and Wounded in 
. 1783 — Indians Invited to Conference by the Spaniards — Persons Killed and 
Wounded — Pruett's Battle with the Indians — Chickasaws Disturbed by the 
Land Law of 17S3 Passed by the Assembly of North Carolina — New Settlers 
in 1783 — Spain, and tiie Designs of Her Rulers — Mero's Invitation to Gen. 

WE now enter upon a subject full of danger and hazard, of 
daring adventure and perilous exposure. He who is 
pleased with the storm and earthquake, and can behold with 
serenity national convulsions and the works of death, will now 
enjoy a repast in perfect association with his ferocious appetite. 
But let him who suffers at the tale of woe, and bleeds with the 
victims which barbarity sacrifices in vengeance for its w^rongs, 
cover his head with a mantle of mou.rning and fly to other 
scenes, consigning, as far as he is able, to the tomb of oblivion 
the events which are now to be recorded. 

Mr. Rains, on the same day that he crossed the Cumber- 
land River on the ice, went and settled on the land now called 
Deaderick's plantation. He remained there three months and 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 125 

three or four days before the Indians did any harm to the 

But in the month of April, 1780, Keywood and Milliken, two 
hunters, coming to tho fort, stopped on Kichland Creek, five or 
six miles west from the bluff, and as one of them stepped down 
to the bank of the creek to drink the Indians fired upon Milli- 
ken, and killed him. Keywood escaped, and brought intelli- 
gence of this affair to the bluff. Mr. Kains then moved to the 
bluff, and continued there four years before he again settled in 
the country. The Indians soon afterward killed Joseph Hay on 
the Lick Branch. In less than ten days after killing Milliken 
a party of Indians came to Freeland's Station, and finding an old 
man, Bernard, making an improvement at a place then called 
Denton's Lick, they killed him, and cut off his head and carried 
it away. They were either Creeks or Cherokees. With the old 
man were two small boys, Joseph Dunham and William Dun- 
ham. They ran off and gave information to the people at Free- 
land's Station. Between Denton's Lick and the fort the Indians 
found a young man whom the boys had neglected to alarm. 
The Indians killed him, and cut off and carried away his head. 
His name also was Milliken. Soon afterward a party of In- 
dians, supposed to be Delawares, killed Jonathan Jennings, at 
the point of the first island above Nashville, in July or August. 
At Eaton's Station they killed James Mayfield, and at the same 
place, which is on the north side of the Cumberland Biver, a 
man by the name of Porter was shot by the Indians in the ce- 
dars, iu view of the station, in the day-time, and early in the 
spring season. About the time the Indians killed Jennings they 
also killed Ned Carver five miles above Nashville. His wife, 
with two children, escaped, and came to Nashville. This was 
done on the bluff of the river, on the north side, where William 
Williams, Esq., now lives. In a day or two afterward the same 
party killed William Neely at Neely's Lick, and took his daugh- 
ter prisoner. At Mansco's Lick, a little while before, they 
killed Jessie Balestine and John Shockley. They afterward 
killed David Goin and Bisby Kennedy at the same station, in 
the winter of the same year. In this year Mansco's Station was 
broken up in the winter-time. Some of the inhabitants went to 
Nashville and some to Kentucky. In November or December, 
at Eaton's Station, they shot Jacob Stump, and attempted to 

126 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

kill the old man, Frederick Stump, but he ran, and got safely 
into Eaton's Station after they had pursued him three miles. 
The Indians killed two persons at Bledsoe's Lick or on the creek 
near it. They killed W. Johnson in the woods on Barren River, 
in company with Daniel Mungle, who ran off. 

In the latter part of the year 1780 a company of Indians met 
Thomas Sharp Spencer in the woods, and on the path in which 
he was returning to the blulf with a load of meat. They fired 
at and missed him, but took his horses and went with them up 
the river. At Station Camp Creek they saw and took other 
horses which had strayed from a camp of white men that was 
near, but which the Indians did not discover. They went off 
with both sets of horses. At Asher's Station, two miles and a 
half from where Gallatin now is, some white men were in a 
cabin in the night-time. At break of day the Indians crept up 
to the cabins and fired into them. They killed and scalped one 
man, and wounded Phillips. They then went off toward Bled- 
soe's Lick, and met hunters who were returning to the bluff. 
They were Alexander Buchanan, James Manifee, AVilliam Ellis, 
Alexander Thompson, and one or two more. Buchanan killed 
one Indian, and another was wounded. The Indians ran off and 
left the horses they had taken from Spencer and Phillips. 
When the Indians came to Freeland's Station in May, the whites 
pursued them — namely, Alexander Buchanan, John Brock, and 
William Mann, with Capt. James Robertson and others, being 
in number twenty — to the neighborhood of Duck River (near 
where Gordon's Ferry now is, and near the Duck River Licks), 
where the pursuers came within hearing of them, and heard 
them cutting. The party of wdiite men dismounted, and marched 
to their camp; but it is supposed that the Indians heard their 
horses snort, for they had all run off before the whites could 
get to their camp. Whilst about Freeland's Station the Indians 
killed D. Lariman and cut off his head. 

In the summer of this year Isaac Lefevre was killed near the 
fort on the bluff, at the spot where Nathan Ewing, Esq., now 
■ lives. In the summer season of the same year Solomon Phil- 
lips went out from the fort to the place now called Cross's old 
field for cymlings. The Indians shot and wounded him. He 
reacliped the fort, but soon died. Samuel Murry, who was with 
him in the field, was shot dead, nearly at the same place they 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 127 

had killed Robert Aspey in the spring. Near the monnd, ou 
the south side of the spot where the steam-mill now is, they 
killed Bartlette Renf roe, and took John Maxwell and John Keu- 
drick prisoners. 

Some of the emigrants who came down the Tennessee in boats 
in the beginning of this year remained at Red River, as is be- 
fore stated, with the intention to settle there. Among them 
were a number of persons by the name of Renfroe and their 
connections, Nathan Turpin and Solomon Turpin. Not long 
afterward, in the same year, 1780, in the month of June or July, 
the Indians, a party of Choctaws and Chickasaws, came and 
broke them up, and killed Nathan Turpin and another man at 
the station. The residue attempted to run off to the bluff where 
Nashville now is. Some of the women and children were con- 
ducted under the care of the Renf roes, who intended to return 
for their property. They went to the station on Red River 
with some others from the bluff, got possession of the property 
they had left there, and were returning to the bluff. They en- 
camped at night about two miles north of Sycamore, at a creek 
now and ever since called Battle Creek. In the morning Joseph 
Renfroe, going to the spring to drink, was fired upon by the 
Indians, who lay concealed in the bushes. He died instantly. 
They then broke in upon the camp, and killed old Mr. Johns 
and his wife and all his family. Only one woman, by the name 
of Jones, escaped. Henry Ramsey, a bold and intrepid man 
who had gone from the bluff, took her off and brought her to 
the bluff. Eleven or twelve other persons were there at the 
time of the attack, who were all killed. The Indians ripped up 
their beds, and took all the horses and other movable property, 
and went off toward the south. 

The Chickasaws had the undisputed claim to the territory on 
the west of the Tennessee. Upon this territory Clarke had 
made a settlement eighteen miles below the mouth of the Ohio 
on the east side of the Mississippi. Offended at this treatment, 
the Chickasaws, till then neutral, become allies of the British 
Nation, and were so at the time when this mischief was perpe- 
trated. Capt. Robertson made peace with them in 1782. In 
the fall of the same year another party of Indians came and 
stole horses and were pursued by Leiper with fifteen men, who 
overtook them on the south side of Harpeth, near where Ellison 

128 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

lately lived, not more than three miles toward Pisgah to the 
west. They were encamped in the night, and the evening was 
wet. Leiper and his men fired npon them, wounded one, got all 
the horses they had stolen, and all their baggage, and returned. 
In the same year (1780) the Indians killed negro Jim, left by 
Col. Henderson in a boat at the Clover Bottom ; also a young 
man in the same boat. At the same time they took George, a 
negro man of Absalom Tatom's; also they wounded and took 
Jack Civil, a mulatto; killed Abel Gower and Abel Gower, Jr., 
and John Robertson, the son of Capt. James Robertson. Col. 
John Donaldson had gone up the river to the Clover Bottom 
with two boats for the purpose of bringing away the corn that 
himself and others had raised the summer before. They had 
laden the boats with the corn and had proceeded a small dis- 
tance down the river when Col. Donaldson recollected that he 
had neglected to gather some cotton \^hich he had jjlanted at 
the lower end of the field, and accordingly asked of his compan- 
ions to put to, for the purpose of picking a part of it. They 
urged that it was growing late, and that they ought to go on; 
he waived using any authority, and had scarcely landed before 
the people in the other boat were attacked by a party of Indians 
who lay in ambush to intercept the boats on their return. The 
fire of the Indians was fatal. All were killed except a free ne- 
gro and one white man, who swam to shore and wandered many 
days in the woods before he reached the bluff. A little dog 
about the time of cock-crowing in the morning after the defeat, 
warned the inhabitants of the station by barking. A boat put 
out and brought to the floating boat. On examining it a negro 
who had gone up with the party was found dead. His chin had 
been eaten by the dog. From these appearances the conclusion 
was that the rest of the party were killed. Col. Donaldson, 
however, had escaped to Mansco's Station. A free negro, son of 
Jack Civil, who was in the boat, was taken prisoner by the In- 

In the summer of this year (1780) at the p]ace where Ephraim 
Foster, Esq., now lives, Philip Catron riding from Freeland's 
Station to the bluff, was fired on by the Indians and wounded 
in the forepart of the breast so that he spit blood, but he re- 
covered. In the same summer, as Capt. John Caffrey and Dan- 
iel Williams were rising the bank going toward the bluff, the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 129 

Indians fired upon tliem, wounding Caffrey in the thigh and 
Williams in the knee with two balls. They escaped to the bluff. 
In the fall of this year the Indians fired upon Taylor and others 
near the bluff, to the south-west. After much time and care he 
was recovered. In this summer Robert Gilkey sickened and 
died. He was the first man of the settlers that died a natural 
death. Soon afterward a negro of Mrs. Gilkey 's was fired upon 
by the Indians at the place where Mr. Whitesides's office now is. 
The negro Avas dangerously wounded, but recovered. Philip 
Conrad, in the spring, was killed by the fall of a tree at the 
place where Bass's tan-yard now is. In this year a man of the 
name of Michael Stoner first discovered the lick which has ever 
since been called Stoner's Lick. Stoner's Lick Creek, which 
runs through it, received its name from the same circumstance. 
In the fall of this year the hunters supplied the inhabitants 
with meat by killing bears, buffaloes, and deer. A party of 
twenty men went up the Caney Fork as high as Flinn's Creek 
and returned in canoes with their meat in the winter. While 
in the woods they killed one hundred and five bears, seventy-five 
buffaloes, and eighty and more deer. Some of the inhabitants, 
however, failed • to obtain the subsistence which was expected 
from this source, and others had lost their crops by a fresh in 
July, and such persons were in distress for want of provisions. 
The multiplied disasters and dangers which every moment 
threatened the small body of settlers with destruction at length 
began to dishearten them. A considerable part of them went 
this year to Kentucky and Illinois. In the winter the emigra- 
tion was stopped by the want of horses, and all the inhabitants 
were collected into two stations. 

The Assembly of North Carolina, in May, 1780, engaged by a 
public act in the form of a resolution to give to the officers and 
soldiers in its line, on continental establishment, a bounty in 
lands in proportion to their respective grades, to be laid off in 
the western country in what is now called West Tennessee, to 
all such who were then in service and should continue to the 
end of the war, or such as from wounds or bodily infirmities 
have, been or shall be rendered unfit for service, and to the heirs 
of such who shall have fallen or shall fall in defense of the 
country. Thei-e never was a bounty more richly deserved or 
more ungrudgingly promised. 

130 ' Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

In the year 1781, on the 15th of January, an attack was made 
on Freelanci's Station by forty or fifty Indians in the still hour 
of midnight. Capt. James Robertson had, in the evening be- 
fore, returned from the Kentucky settlements, and having been 
accustomed, whilst on the road, to more vigilance than the other 
residents of the fort, he heard the noise which the cautious sav- 
ages made in opening the gate. He arose and alarmed the men 
iu the station, but the Indians had got in. The cry of "Indians " 
brought Maj. Lucas out in his shirt. He was shot. The alarm 
being general, the Indians retreated through the gate, but fired 
in at the port-holes through the house in which Maj. Lucas 
lived. In this house they shot a negro of Capt. Robertson's. 
These were the only fatal shots, though not less than five hun- 
dred were fired into the house. It was the only one in which 
the port-holes were not filled up with mud. The whites, only 
eleven in number, made good use of the advantage they pos- 
sessed in the other houses of the fort. Capt. Robertson shot an 
Indian, which soon caused the whole party to retreat. The 
moon shone brightly, otherwise this attack would probably have 
succeeded. The fort was once in possession of the Indians. 
They found means to loosen the chain on the inside which con- 
fined the gate, and they were superior in point of numbers. 
The Indians received re-enforcements from the Cherokee Na- 
tion. They burned up every thing before them : immense quan- 
tities of corn and other produce, as well as the houses, fences, 
and even the stations of the whites. The alarm was general; all 
who could get to the blufp or Eaton's Station did so, but many 
never saw their comrades in those stations. Some were killed 
sleeping; some were awakened only to be apprised that their 
last momeiit was come; some were killed in the noonday, when 
not suspicious of danger; death seemed ready to embrace the 
whole of the adventurers. In the morning when Mansco's Lick 
Station was broken up, two men who had slept a little later than 
their companions were shot by two guns pointed through a port- 
hole by the Indians. These men were David Goin and Patrick 
Quigley. Many of the terrified settlers removed to Kentucky, 
or went down the river. A few nights afterward Mrs. Dunham 
sent a small girl out of the fort to bring in something that she 
wanted, and the Indians being there, took hold of the child and 
scalped her, but they did not kill her, and she is still alive. Mrs. 


Dunham, hearing the cries of the child, advanced toward the 
place where she was, and was shot by one of the Indians and 
wounded dangerously, but not mortally. She lived many years 
afterward, and at length died, but never perfectly recovered 
her health. 

In the spring of the year 1781, on the second day of April, a 
numerous party of Cherokees came in the night and lay in am- 
bush. In the morning three of them came and fired at the fort 
on the bluff and ran off. Nineteen horsemen in the fort mount- 
ed their horses and followed them. When they came to the 
branch over which the stone bridge now is, they discovered the 
Indians in the creek and in the thickets near it. They rose and 
fired upon the horsemen; the latter dismounted to give them 
battle, and returned their fire with great alacrity. Another 
party of Indians lay concealed in the privj'- and brush and cedars 
near the place where Mr. De Mumbrune's house is, who were 
ready to rush into the fort on the back of the combatants. The 
horses ran to the fort and left their owners on foot. Hearing 
the firing, those in the fort closed the gates. Such of the nine- 
teen as were left alive retreated to the fort. Several of them 
were killed on the spot — namely, Peter Gill, Alexander Buchan- 
an, George Kennedy, Zachariah White, and Capt. Leiper. 
Others of them were wounded — namely, James Manifee and 
Joseph Moonshaw. At the place where the stone house of 
Cross now stands, Isaac Lucas had his thigh broken by a ball, 
and being left by his comrades who ran into the fort, the In- 
dians rushed upon him to take his scalp. One of them running 
toward him and being at a short distance, Lucas, having his gun 
charged, fired upon and shot him through the body, and he died 
instantly. The people in the fort, in order to save Lacas, kept 
up a brisk and warm fire upon those parties of Indians who at- 
tempted to get to him, and finally succeeded in drawing them off, 
when he (Lucas) was taken and brought into the fort by his own 

When the Indians fired upon the horsemen at the branch, the 
body which lay in ambush at De Mumbrune's rose and marched 
toward the river, forming a line between the combatants and the 
fort. When those from the bluff dismounted to fire upon the In- 
dians in the branch, and the firing on both sides actual!}'- com- 
menced, their horses took fright and ran at full speed ©n the 

132 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

south side of the Indian line toward the French Lick, passing 
by the fort on the bluff. Seeing this, a number of Indians in 
the line, eager to get possession of the horses, left their ranks 
and went in pursuit of them, and at this instant the dogs in the 
fort, seeing the confusion and hearing the firing, ran toward the 
branch and came to that part of the Indian line which remained 
yet unbroken, and as they had been trained to hostility agaiust 
Indians, made a most furious onset upon them and disabled them 
from doing any thing more tlian defending themselves. Whilst 
thus emjaloyecl the retreating whites passed near them through 
the interval made by the desertion of those from the line who 
had gone in pursuit of the horses. Had it not been for these 
fortunate circumstances, the whites could never have retreated to 
the fort through the Indian line, which had taken post between 
them and the fort. Such of the nineteen who survived when 
they retreated, would have had to break through the line, their 
own guns being empty, whilst those of the Indians were well 
charged. Amongst those who retreated toward the fort was Ed- 
ward Swanson, who was pursued by an Indian that overtook 
him, punching him with the muzzle qf his gun in the back and 
drawing the trigger, when the gun snapped. Swanson laid hold 
of the muzzle, and wringing the lock to one side, spilled the 
priming from the pan. The Indian, looking into the pan and 
not seeing powder in it, struck him with the gun-barrel, the 
muzzle foremost. The stroke not bringing him to the ground, 
the Indian clubbed his gun and, striking him with it near the 
lock, knocked him down on all foiirs. At this time John Bu- 
chanon, the elder, father of the present Maj. Buchanon, rushed 
from the fort to the assistance of Swanson, who was about 
twenty yards from it. Here he discharged his gun at the In- 
dian, who, gritting his teeth, retired to a stump, upon which 
Buchanon and Swanson went into the fort. From the stump to 
Avhich the Indian retired was a trail made by a body dragged 
along upon the ground, much marked with blood. The Indians 
retired, leaving upon the field the dead Indian whom Lucas had 
killed. Another they buried on the east side of the creek in a 
hollow north of the place where Mr. Hume now lives. The white 
people afterward dug him up. Many of the Indians were seen 
hopping on lame feet or legs. They got nineteen horses, sad- 
dles, bridles, and blankets, and could easily remove their dead 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 133 

and wounded. The vrliite people could never learn the exact 
loss they sustained. 

On the night of the same day in which this affair took place 
another party of Indians, who had not come up in time to be 
pi-esent at the battle, marched to the ground now occupied by 
Poyzer's and Condon's houses and lots and fired upon the fort 
for some time, till a swiA^el was charged with small rocks and 
I)ieces of pots and discharged at them, ujjon which they imme- 
diately withdrew. 

A few days before the battle at the fort on the bluff, Col. 
Samuel Barton had followed a drove of cattle, wishing to kill 
one oi them for beef. They passed near the head of the branch 
which .extends from the stone bridge by Bass's tan-y4ft:d, and up- 
ward to the head. They passed near the spot at the head of the 
branch where the Indian lay in ambush. They fired upon and 
wounded him in the wrist. He ran with the blood streaming 
from the wound, and one of them followed him. One, Martin, 
ran from the fort to meet him, and seeing him join Barton the 
Indian in pursuit retired. At this time John Buchanon and his 
brother Alexander Buchanon were in Cross's field; they took a 
circuitous route and came into the fort on what is now the back 
part of the town of Nashville. Barton was in the fort disabled 
by this wound when the battle at Nashville took place. 

In the summer of 1781 a party of Indians killed William 
Hood just on the outside of the fort at Freeland's Station. They 
did not at that time attack the fort. 

In the same summer, between Freeland's Station and the 
French Lick, a party of Indians killed old Peter Renfroe and 
withdrew. In the fall of the same year they killed Timothy 
Terril, from North Carolina, and withdrew. In the same year the 
Indians killed Jacob Freeland as he hunted for deer on Stoner's 
Lick Creek, at the place where John Castleman now lives. 
There also, at another time, they killed Joseph Castleman, a son 
of John Castleman. At the same place lived Jacob Castleman, 
who went into the woods to hunt and was surprised and killed 
by the Indians. 

In the spring of the year 1782 a party of Indians fired upon 
three persons at the French Lick and broke the arms of John 
Tucker and Joseph Hendricks, and shot down David Hood, 
whom they scalped and stamped, as he said, and followed the 

134 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

others toward the fort. The people of the fort came out and re- 
pulsed them and saved the wounded men. Supposing the In- 
dians gone, Hood got up softly, wounded and scalped as he was, 
and began to walk toward the fort on the blufip, when, to his 
mortification, he saw standing upon the bank of the creek a 
number of Indians, the same who had wounded him before, 
making sport of his misfortunes and mistake. They then fell 
upon him again, and having given him in several places new 
wounds that were apparently mortal, they left him. He fell into 
a brush-heap in the snow, and next morning was tracked and 
found by his blood and was placed, as a dead man, in one of the 
out-houses and was left alone. After some time he reco»vered 
and lived many years. 

After the attempt to take the fort at the bluff in 1781, the 
people were frequently disturbed by Indian irruptions and dep- 
redations. They made no corn in 1781, but in 1782 they made 
some in the fields which had been cleared in 1780. The hostil- 
ities of the Indians were exercised upon those whom they found 
hunting, a number of whom they killed that year. In this year 
(1782) a house or two stood at a place called Kilgore's Station, 
on the north side of the Cumberland River, on the Red River, 
and on the south side of Red River, at the place now called Kil- 
gore's Station. There were two young men by the name of Ma- 
son, Moses Maiding, Ambrose Maiding, Josiah Hoskins, Jesse 
Simmons, and others. The two Masons had gone to a lick 
called Clay Lick, and had posted themselves in a secret place to 
watch for deer, and were near enough to reach them with their 
shot at the lick. Whilst in this situation seven Indians came to 
the lick. The lads took good aim, and fired upon and killed 
two of them, and then ran with all speed to the fort, where, 
being joined by three of the garrison, they returned to the lick, 
found the dead Indians, scalped them, and returned to the fort. 
That night John Peyton and Ephraim Peyton, on their way to 
Kentucky, called in at the fort and remained there all night. 
The Indians came in the night and took away all, or nearly all, 
the horses which were there. In the morning the people at the 
fort pursued them, and overtook them in the evening at a creek 
called Peyton's Creek, and fired upon them and killed one. The 
rest fled, and the pursuers retook all the horses. That night 
the latter came toward the fort and carelessly encamped, and the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 135 

next morning proceeded on their journey. But in the mean- 
time the Indians had got between them and the station by a cir- 
cuitous route, and when the whites came near enough they fired 
upon them, and killed one of the Masons and Josiah Hoskins. 
The Indians then retreated with their spoils, and the people at 
Kilgore's Station broke up their establishment and joined those 
at the bluff. A little before this, but in the same year, at the 
same station, the Indians fired upon Samuel Martin and Isaac 
Johnson returning to the bluff. They took Martin and carried 
him into the Creek Nation. After residing there ten or eleven 
months, he came home elegantly dressed, with two valuable 
horses and silver spurs. Isaac Johnson escaped and came home. 
As Martin was the first and only man who had been profited by 
Indian captivity, and withal bore but an indifferent character, 
it was Avhispered that he had agreed with the Indians upon the 
time and place of attack to be made by them, and was a sharer 
in the plunder. 

In the year 1782, and for several years afterward, the common 
custom of the country was for one or two persons to stand as 
watchmen or sentinels whilst others labored in the field; and 
even whilst one went to a spring to drink another stood on the 
watch with his gun, ready to give him protection by shooting a 
creeping Indian, or one rising from the thickets of cane and 
brush that covered him from view; and whenever four or five 
were assembled together at a spring, or other places where bus- 
iness requii-ed them to be, they held their guns in their hands, 
and, with their backs turned to each other, one faced the north, 
another the south, another the west — watching in all directions 
for a lurking or creeping enemy. Whilst the people at the bluff 
were so much harassed and galled by the Indians that they 
could not plant and cultivate their corn-fields, a proposition was 
made in a council of the inhabitants at the bluff to break up the 
settlement and go off. Capt. Robertson pertinaciously resisted 
this proposition. It was then impossible to get to Kentucky, 
as the Indians were in force upon all the roads and passages 
which led thither; and for the same reason it v/as equally im- 
practicable to remove to the settlements on the Holston. No 
other means of escape remained but that of going down the 
river in boats, and making good their retreat to Illinois; and 
to this plan great obstacles were opposed, for how was the wood 

136 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

to be obtained with whicli to make the boats? Every day the 
Indians were in the skirts of the bluff, lying concealed among 
the shrubs, privy and cedar trees, ready to inflict death upon 
whoever should attempt to go to the woods to procure timber 
for building a boat. These difficulties were all stated by Capt. 
Robertson. He held out the dangers attendant on the attempt 
on the one hand; the fine country they were about to possess 
themselves of on the other; the probability of new acquisitions 
of members from the interior settlements; the certainty of being 
able, by a careful attention to circumstances, to defend them- 
selves till succor could arrive. Finally their apprehensions 
were quieted, and gradually they relinquished the design of 
evacuating the position they occupied. 

In this year George Aspy was killed by the Indians on Drake's 
Creek, and Thomas Spencer was wounded. This was in May. 
In the fall of this year William McMurry was killed near Win- 
chester's Mill, on Bledsoe's Creek. Gen. Smith and some oth- 
ers were with him, and the general was wounded. They killed 
Noah Trammel on Goose Creek. Maiden's Station, upon Eed 
River, was broken up. 

In the month of April of this year the Legislature of North 
Carolina, by an act passed for the purpose, allowed to the set- 
tlers on the Cumberland rights of preemption: six hundred and 
forty acres to each family or head of a family, and' every sin- 
gle man of the age of twenty-one years and upward, who were 
settled on the said lands before the 1st day of June, 1780. Such 
tracts were to include their improvements; but .o grant to any 
of them was to include any salt licks or salt springs, which, by 
the same act, were reserved as public proj)erty, together witli 
six hundred and forty acres of the adjoining land. All the rest 
of the country was declared to be subject to partition. 

In this year also the Legislature of North Carolina, after a 
great deal of uncomraendable tergiversation, established courts 
of equity in all the districts of the State. 

The Revolutionary War was now fast hastening to a close, 
and actually came to an end on the 30th of November, 1782. 
This event had been anticipated by Capt. Robertson, and from 
it he expected an ahatement of Indian hostility, as the Indians, 
he conceived, would be no longer either encouraged or paid to 
persist in it. The event corresponded in part with his expecta- 


tions, and was soon followed by the arrival of a number of per- 
sons from North Carolina, who gave strength and animation to 
the settlements. 

Early in 1783 the commissioners, with a guard, came from 
North Carolina to lay off lands for satisfaction of the bounties 
promised to the officers and soldiers of her line in the regular 
army; and also to examine into the claims of those persons who 
considered themselves entitled to the pre-emption rights granted 
to the settlers on Cumberland before the 1st of June, 1780; 
and also to lay off the lands given by the Assembly of North 
Carolina to Gen. Greene as a mark of the high sense they en- 
tertained of his extraordinary services in the war of the Eevo- 
lution. The settlers were much animated by their presence and 
by the additional strength derived from their accession, and 
soon wholly abandoned the design which they had once enter- 
tained of leaving the country. The commissioners and guards, 
with some of the inhabitants in company, went to the place now 
called Latitude Hill, on Elk Eiver, to ascertain the thirty-fifth 
degree of north latitude, and there made their observations, and 
thence came down Haywood's Creek to Kichland Creek of Elk, 
and thence by Fountain Creek of Duck River, and at the second 
creek below that laid off the 25,000 acres of land for Gen. 
Greene which the people of North Carolina had made him a 
present of, and then fifty-five miles from the southern boundary, 
and parallel thereto ran the line, which received the name of the 
"continental line," because it was the boundary of the territory 
allotted for the ofiicers and soldiers of the line of North Caro- 
lina in the continental army. But upon the representation and 
at the request of the officers made to the General Assembly in 
their session of 1783, they directed it to be laid off from the 
northern boundary fifty-five miles to the south; begioningon the 
Virginia line where the Cumberland River intersects the same; 
thence west to the Tennessee River; thence down the Tennessee 
to the Virginia line; thence with the said Virginia line east to 
the beginning. The General Assembly at the same time took 
into consideration the claims set up to these lands by Hender- 
son and his associates, who had obtained them from the Indians 
in 1775, as has been already stated in the chapter of boundaries. 
Purchases of the Indians, except by public authority, had been 
forbidden by the king's proclamation and instructions to his 


governors soon after tlie peace of 1763 for regulating the inter- 
course of his colonists with the Indians. The same prohibition 
had been previously established by the North Carolina Assem- 
bly of 1715, Chapter 23, Section 4; 1740, Chapter 3, Section 5. 
And it had beer particularly enforced by the Constitution of 
North Carolina, finally ratified on the 18th day of December, 
1776. Col. Henderson was a gentleman eminently distinguished 
for his legal acquirements, both as an advocate and as a judge 
under the royal government; still more so for a sound judgment, 
as well as mental endowments of the social and facetious kind, 
which made him an object of general admiration. It is prob- 
able that he was not very sanguine, in the face of all these ob- 
stacles, that the title he had acquired from the Indians for all 
the lands contained in their deeds to him would prevail. But 
he knew that the acquisition of these titles was beneficial to the 
State, as they furnished an estoppel against the Indians in fut- 
ure, and, of course, that he and his partners were entitled to 
handsome retributions. The Assembly recited in an act of the 
session that Eichard Henderson, Thomas Hart, John Williams, 
William Johnston, James Hogg, David Hart, Leonard Henly 
Bullock, Nathaniel Hart, John Luttrell, John Carter, and Itob- 
ert Lucas have been at great expense, trouble, and risk in making 
a purchase of lauds from the Cherokee Indians, and that it is 
but just they should have a compensation adequate to the ex- 
pense, risk, and trouble aforesaid; therefore, it is enacted, say 
they, that 200,000 acres are hereby granted to the said Bichard 
Henderson, Thomas Hart, John Williams, AVilliam Johnston, 
James Hogg, David Hart, and Leonard Henly Bullock and their 
heirs; the heirs or assigns or devisees of Nathaniel Hart, de- 
ceased; the heirs and assigns or devisees of John Luttrell, de- 
ceased; to Laudon Carter, heir of John Carter, deceased, his 
heirs and assigns forever; and to the heirs and devisees of Bob- 
ert Lucas, The said 200,000 acres to be laid off in one survey 
and with the following boundaries: beginning at the old Indian 
town in Powell's Valley, running down Powell's Biver not less 
than four miles in width on one or both sides thereof, to the 
juncture of Powell and Clinch Bivers; then down Clinch Biver 
on one or both sides, not less than twelve miles in width, for 
the aforesaid complement of 200,000 acres. Thenceforward all 
doubts were cleared up with respect to tlie right which the State 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 139 

had to grant the other lands on the western waters, which were 
contained within the bounds specified in the Indian deeds to 
the company. The Assembly laid off the county of Davidson 
during the same session, appointed both civil and military offi- 
cers as in other counties, and established a Court of Pleas and 
Quarter Sessions in it. Before this period trustees were ap- 
pointed by the settlers, who signed a covenant obliging them- 
selves to conform to the decisions of those ofiicers who had thus 
been vested with the powers of government. Those who signed 
had considerable advantages over those who did not; they were 
respectively allowed a tract of land, in the quiet possession of 
which the colony secured them; whilst those who did not sign were 
considered as having no right to the lands they occupied, and 
could be dispossessed by a signer without any recourse. The 
trustees received neither fees nor salary, but they appointed a 
clerk, to whom they allowed very small perquisites to pay the 
expense of paper and stationery. The trustees, who were the 
executive of the country, had the whole government in their 
hands; they also acted as the judiciary, and their decisions gave 
general satisfaction; they also performed the functions of the 
clerical office, and celebrated the rites of matrimony. Capt. 
James Robertson, who acted as a trustee, was the first who mar- 
ried a couple, Capt. Leiper and his wife. Mr. James Shaw after- 
ward married Edward Swanson to Mrs. Carvin, James Freeland 
to Mrs. Maxwell, Cornelius Riddle to Miss Jane Mulherrin, and 
John Tucker to Jenny Herod, all in one day. The first child 
born in the country was John Saunders, who acted not many 
years ago as sheriff of Montgomery County, and who was killed 
on White River by the Indians; the second, Miss Anna Wells, 
who not many years ago lived in Montgomery County. 

The county of Davidson was included in the following bounds: 
All that part of North Carolina lying west of the Cumberland 
Mountains and south of the Virginia line, beginning on the top 
of Cumberland Mountain where the Virginia line crosses it, ex- 
tending westwardly along the said line to the Tennessee River; 
thence up said river to the mouth of Duck River; thence up 
Duck River to where the line of marked trees run by the com- 
missioners for laying off the land granted to the continental line 
of North Carolina intersects said river, which said line is sup- 
posed to be in thirty-five degrees fifty minutes of north latitude; 

140 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

thence east, along said line, to the top of Cumberland Mountain; 
thence northwardly along said line to the beginning. The Assem- 
bly directed that an entry-taker be appointed by the County .Court 
of Davidson to receive preemption entries, and the inhabitants' 
of the county were allowed to pay in specie or in specie certifi- 
cates for their preemptions; and they were allowed the term of 
eighteen months within which to make the payments. The heirs 
of such as were dead were allowed one year after coming of age 
to make their payments. 

In giving this county the name of Davidson the representa- 
tives of the people paid a grateful tribute to departed merit in 
the person of Gen. Davidson, a native of their own State. He 
was a gallant officer, who resided in the western part of North 
Carolina, on the east of the Appalachian Mountains. He had 
served with reputation, as an officer of inferior grade, in the 
Continental Army; had left it and been'appointed a General of 
Militia. He was eminently devoted to the cause of American 
liberty. Whenever the tories embodied, as they frequently did, 
he was soon at the place of their meeting to suppress them, and 
no impediments which they could offer were ever able to stop 
his progress a moment. When the British themselves were 
near, there was no danger he would not carefully encounter, 
if it would but serve his country's cause. When the British 
forces made an effort to overtake a considerable body of their 
army which had been captured at the Cowpens, and had made a 
sudden irruption into North Carolina, the American army re- 
treating before them. Gen. Davidson, intending to retard the 
march of the enemy, raised a body of active militia-men, and at 
every river and creek caused them some delay. 

On the 1st of February, 1781, the British forces came to the 
Catawba, at a fort near McCowan's, and began to cross the river 
at that place, Davidson rode to the river to reconnoiter the en- 
emy on the other side in order to devise some plan to keep them 
back awhile. One of the German riflemen, unperceived by him, 
for it was nearly dark, had crossed the river and got near to the 
bank on which the general rode, and shot him. Knowing that 
his wound was mortal, he rode briskly back to a place where he 
had left part of his troops, and gave to them the necessary di- 
rections what to do; and, having done so, soon after expired. 
Never was there a more intrepid soldier, never a greater patriot, 


never did any man love his country with more ardent afPection! 
His name should be ever dear to the people of North Carolina 
and Tennessee, and the posterity which he left should be dea,r 
to them also. The public gratitude should be shown by acts 
and deeds, and not by professions alone. Those who die for 
their country should have death sweetened, not only by the 
prospect of individual fame, but likewise witli the certain pros- 
pect of honor and preferment secured to their children and con- 
nections. Those who love their country should be loved by it; 
the proof of affection should be durable and solid, and worthy 
of the object intended to be preserved in remembrance. In 
countries where public duties of this sort are certainly and well 
and promptly performed, there we may justly expect, and cer- 
tainly shall find, the most numerous and magnificent examples 
of heroic devotion and sacrifice. Occasiona] feelings, it must 
not be denied, have sometimes their share in the production of 
such examples; but is not a generous and magnanimous coun- 
try much more likely to cherish and animate such feelings than 
those which are insensible to the claims of merit, and only re- 
ward the best services with indifference? 

At this juncture, when the fate of the Cumberland settlements 
was suspended by a hair, events so propitious and timely could 
not fail to inspire successful anticipations. Like the rest of 
mankind, the settlers readily believed that which they w^ished, 
and cherished the expectation of ease and safety; but these 
hopes were not without the counterpoise of savage persecution. 
The Indians still kept up their offensive operations in 1783. 
They killed Roger Top, one of the guard who came with the 
commissioners, at the place where Mr. Deaderick afterward 
lived. At the same time and place they shot Eoger Glass 
through the thigh. Two nights afterward, finding a man at the 
place where the stone bridge is, they shot him. He ran to the 
fort, and shortly afterward died. This was done while the com- 
missioners were sitting at the bluff to ascertain and give certif- 
icates for the preemption rights secured to those who had set- 
tled on the Cumberland as early as the 1st of June, 1780. 
Though the guard which was with the commissioners did not 
experience any molestation from the Indians whilst they were 
running the line and laying off the lands of Gen. Greene, that 
was owing to the formidable number which composed it. The 


guard was numerous. Those who composed it were promised 
compensation for their services in lands, since called guard 
rights, and they came in crowds to be enlisted into that service. 

The Indian Nations o£ the South, including the Cherokees, 
were invited by the agents of Spain to meet and hold confer- 
ences with them at the Walnut Hills, and did so; and here it is 
believed that their unfavorable disposition toward the Cumber- 
land settlers received no diminution. The Indians, in small de- 
tachments, made frequent inroads upon the white settlements, 
waylaying the paths and corn-fields, and dogging upon the 
tracks of those who went out to explore the country and make 
locations, and never failed to kill them when a good opportunity 
offered. They killed Ireson and Batnet in a surveying excur- 
sion, soon after the commissioners came out. They killed Will- 
iam Dunham and Joseph Dunham where the plantation of Mr. 
Irwin now is on Bichland Creek. At the same place they killed 
Joshua Norrington and Joel Mills; and at a plantation near 
this, at this same time, they killed Daniel Dunham. In a path 
leading from Dunham's Fort to Armstrong's, at the head of 
Richland Creek, where Castleman now lives, they killed a man 
going from one fort to the other. At Armstrong's Fort, at the 
place which included it, Mr. Kains's daughter. Patsy, was riding 
on horseback, with a young woman behind her. She and Bet- 
sy Williams were -fired upon by the Indians, and the latter 
killed; the former escaped, and ran off home. A short time 
afterward, within a mile of Armstrong's Fort, Joseph Noland 
was killed by the Indians; and in the summer of this year they 
killed the son of Thomas Noland. In the fall they killed the 
old man himself, near the same fort. About the same time, they 
killed the father of Betsy Williams, before mentioned. 

Buchanan had a station, in 1783, five miles from the bluff. 
There the Indians, in this year, killed William Mulherrin, Sam- 
uel Buchanan, and three others who were guarding the station. 
In this year William Overall was killed while going from the 
bluff to Kentucky; Joshua Thomas was mortally wounded, and 
died. In this year the Indians came to the bluff and stole 
horses. Twenty men were raised by Capt. William Pruett, who 
pursued them to Richland Creek of Elk, overtook them, retook 
the horses on the waters of Big Creek, and commenced their re- 
turning march, having fired on the Indians and killed none. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 143 

They came to the north side of Duck River, near a creek, and 
encamped there all night. In the morning the Indians fired on 
the rear as they began to move, and killed Moses BroAvn in a 
canebrake. The white people retreated a mile and a half, till 
they could get into open ground, and there halted and formed. 
The Indians came wp, shot down Pruett and Daniel Johnston, 
and wounded Morris Shine; and the white people again retreat- 
ed to the blufP, having lost as many horses as had been recov- 
ered from them. 

The Chickasaws soon heard of the law of North Caroliua, 
passed in April, 1783, for the appropriation of their lands, as 
well as of all the lands claimed by the Cherokees, except those 
which by the same act were allowed to them for their hunting- 
grounds; and they could not but view the act as a very uncere- 
monious intrusion upon their rights, and likewise as a proof of 
great unconcern with regard to the sentiments of the Chickasaws 
upon a subject of so much moment to them. With the regrets 
of an old friend, compelled by ill treatment to relinquish his 
friendly prepossessions, they turned from the people of Cum- 
berland, and, in common with the Creeks and Cherokees, pre- 
pared to goad them with the sting of their displeasure. But 
in the latter part of 1783 the settlements received additional 
strength by the arrival of new settlers. Turnbull, a trader, 
came from the Natchez with horses and skins, which he brought 
from the Chickasaw Nation. Absalom Hooper came from Natch- 
ez; also Thomas James, Philip Alston, James Drumgold, his son- 
in-law, James Cole, and others, among whom was James Don- 
alson. In this year Samuel Hays established a station on Stone's 

For the clear comprehension of facts which are soon to fol- 
low in the sequel of this story, we shall close this year with re- 
marks which are proper for their elucidation wherever they may 

Spain, though an ally of the United States in their war with 
Great Britain, was actuated by a desire to weaken the latter by 
separation of so great a part of the British Empire, and at the 
same time had no affection for the new States. On the contrary 
she entertained toward them nearly the sentiments of Satan in 
his soliloquy to the sun. As soon as the settlements were 
formed on the Cumberland River, the Spanish government took 

144 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

alarm; it dreaded the approach of independent principles; nor 
did the Spanish cabinet disguise their dislike to them. When 
the treaties which terminated the war of the Revolution began 
to be seriously thought of by the belligerents, the Spanish cab- 
inet applied to the French minister at Madrid, Monsieur de Mont- 
morin, expressing their apprehensions of the advancing Amer- 
ican settlements, and that it was the true policy of Spain not to 
open to them the navigation of the Mississippi, as it would en- 
able them to acquire the commerce of Orleans and Mexico, and 
particularly as, notwithstanding their then weak state, the set- 
tlers on the western waters were of that warlike character as al- 
ready to manifest an inordinate ambition and vast projects for 
conquering all the countries on the eastern shore of the Missis- 
sippi. The Spanish government wished, therefore, to make the 
savages a barrier between their colonies and the Americans; or, 
in plain words, to have them on the Spanish side of the bound- 
aries between them and the United States; and they earnestly 
solicited as the highest proof of friendship which the French 
nation could give that the influence of the French government 
with the United States might be used to draw them from their 
views on the navigation of the Mississippi. They endeavored 
in the first instance to curtail the boundaries of the United 
States and to exclude them from the use of the Mississippi, and 
immediately after the war they adopted for themselves the pol- 
icy of greatly impeding and, if possible, of entirely breaking 
up the Cumberland and other settlements on the western wa- 
ters — objects which they proposed to effect, first, by the occlu- 
sion of the Mississippi, to make useless and of no value all the 
agricultural productions of these settlements, for want of a mar- 
ket; secondly, by alluring the settlers into Louisiana by the 
advantageous offers which the government held out to them in 
case of making a settlement there; and thirdly, by an unremit- 
ted excitement of Indian animosity against these settlers, in fui*- 
therance of the main plan. All these means were resorted to, 
and we shall find the effects of them every moment occurring on 
the further progress of this history. Their operations were 
conducted with secresy, and for some time it was not known and 
not even suspected what was the real source of all the ill-will of 
the savages which so often poured itself with the fierceness of 
burning wrath upon the devoted settlers of Cumberland. 

♦ Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 145 

On the 20tli of April, 1783, Don Stephen Mero, brigadier-gen- 
eral in the armies of his Catholic majesty and governor and in- 
tendant of the provinces of Louisiana and West Florida, Avrote 
to Capt. Piobertson from New Orleans, in answer to a letter of 
his of the 23d of January. In this letter he professed pleasure 
in the friendly dispositions of his people and in the assurance 
of the falsehood of the report he had heard that the Cumber- 
land people v»-ere solicitous to attack his province. He request- 
ed Capt. Eobertson to give no more credit to the intelligence he 
had received of the Indians having been incited in that prov- 
ince against these settlements. He asserted that at different 
times he had recommended to Alexander McGillivray to make 
peace, who finally had answered that he had given his word to 
the Governor of North Carolina that the Creeks would not again 
trouble those settlements; and he promised again to write to 
McGillivray and to engage him to be no longer troublesome to 
the people of Cumberland; he stated that he had no connection 
with the Cherokees nor with the Marcniin; but, as they went 
now and then to Illinois, he promised to advise the command- 
ant there to induce them to be quiet. The Cherokees had asked 
permission, he said, in May, 1782, to settle on the west side of 
the Mississippi, and he had granted their request; and if, said 
he, they act accordingly, you will be quite free from their in- 
cursions. He lastly invited Capt. Robertson to come and settle 
in his province, declaring that he would not be molested on ac- 
count of his religious principles, nor would he be called on to 
pay any tax, and that he would always find a market for his 
crops: advantages which made all the planters at Natchez daily 
to improve in their circumstances. 


Tlie Cession Act of 1784 — The Unfavorable Circimistaiices of the Western Coun- 
ties — Committees in Each County — Convention ; Its rroceedings — Cession Act 
of 1784 Repealed — Superior Court for Washington District, Wiiich Was Now 
Established — Brigadier-general Appointed — Sevier Eecommended no Further 
Progress toward a New Government — Convention Met — Assembly of Frank- 
land — Governor and Other Officers Apjwinted — Their Independence in North 
Carolina Transmitted to tlieGovernor of Tiiat State — His Manifesto — Superior 
and County Courts Established — Clerks Appointed — New Counties Erected — 
Persons Who Were Clerks, Colonels, and Members of Assembly — The Acts They 
Passed — Remarks upon Tlieir Tax Law and Salary Act — Treaty witli the In- 
dians, under tlie Authority of the New State — Assembly in August — Dissatis- 
faction with the Old State in the Counties of Virginia Near to tlie State of 
Frankland — Discontents Excited — Gov. Henry, of Virginia, Laid Their Designs 
before the Assembly of That State — His Remarks upon Them and upon the New 
State of Frankland — Tlie Limits of tlie Intended New Government after the 
Junction — The Constitution Proposed for It — Act of Pardon and Oblivion 
Passed by North Carolina in the Latter Part of 1785 — Appointed Elections to 
Be Held for Members to Represent the Western Counties in the Assembly of 
North Carolina — Further Time for Surveys — OfBcers Appointed for the West- 
ern Counties — Convention in November, 1785 — Form of a Constitution by a 
Committee — Rejected by the House in Toto — Constitution of Nortii Carolina 
Adopted — Mr. Cocke Sent to Congress — Georgia Legislature; Its Proceedings — 
County in the Bend of the Tennessee; Officers Appointed to Organize It — The 
Commissioners of Others Went Thither — Their Proceedings There — Cox — 
Col. Hampton — Confusion from the Exercise of Two Governments — Parties 
Formed — Open Opposition to the State of Frankland — Sevier and Tipton; 
Their Deep Animosities — Courts under Both Governments — A Court Broken 
Up by Tipton — Same Done by Sevier's Party — Under Both States Were Issued 
Marriage Licenses, Letters of Administration, etc. — Conflict between Tipton 
and Sevier — Members Elected for North Carolina — Sevier Appointed Brig- 
adier-general by Gov. Houston, of Georgia — Persons Killed or Wounded by 
the Cherokees in 1786 — Men Embodied — Members of Assembly for North 
Carolina — Hawkins County — Officers; Civil and Military — William Cocke; 
His Representations to Them — Another Act of Pardon and Oblivion in 1786 
— Various Regulations Contained in it — Remarks on the Repeal of the Cession 
Act of 1784 — Sevier's Negotiations with Georgia — Favorable Report on His 
Proposition — Commander Elholm His Agent — Granted Money to Defray His 
Expenses — The Governor of Georgia Writes to Him a Friendly Letter — Let- 
ter to Sevier from Doctor Franklin — Elholm Again Sent to Georgia — The 
Council Compliment Sevier; Write to Him Their Situation with Respect to 
Indian Affairs — His Aid Requested — The Georgia Leaders Speak Cautiously 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 147 

of the Government of Frankland — Gov. Telfair Writes to Sevier, and Compli- 
ments Calhonn — Sevier Made a Member of tlie Society of Cincinnati — Pres- 
ents Sent to Plira — Flattering Toasts — Thanks Presented by the Council to El- 
holm — Request His Attention to Their Situation with Respect to the Creeks — 
September, 1787, the Assembly of Frankland Met; Tiieir Proceedings — Mem- 
bers Elected in 1787 for the Assembly of North Carolina — Act of Pardon and 
Oblivion Extended — A Descent Contemplated by Some of the Citizens of 
Frankland on the Spanisii Possessions — Inquiries Directed by Congress to be 
Made — Resentments of the People against the Spaniards — The Cumberland 
]\Ieiiibers in an Address to the Assembly of North Carolina Had Censured the 
Spaniards — Sullivan's Letter; The Uneasiness It Produced — The Property of 
Sevier Seized by Virtue of a fi. fa. under the Authority of Nortii Carolina — 
Troops Seized by Sevier and Marched to Tipton's House — A Battle There; 
Sevier's Troops Routed; His Two Sons Made Prisoners — The Government of 
Frankland Expired — Cherokees Massacre Kirk's Family — Troops Embodied 
and Marched into Their Nation; Indians Killed; Towns Burned; Indians 
Massacred — Kirk's Imputation on Sevier; His Vindication — Capt. Gillespie's 
Beliavior in the Defense of His Prisoners — Mr. Gardogue to Gov. Sevier — Gen. 
Martin's Expedition — Persons Killed in 1788 — Sevier's Popular Talents; Se- 
vier Arrested and HandcufTed ; Led Prisoner to Morganton, in North Carolina, 
Followed by His Sons and Other Friends; at Morganton Delivered to the 
Sheriff; tlie McDowells Followed Him and Became His Sureties for a Few 
Days, Till He Could Go and See a Brother-in-law; on His Return the Pursuers 
Reiiched To\vn and Were Unknown; At Night They Slept with the Governor 
and Returned Home — Federal Constitution Rejected — Assembly of North 
Carolina; Their Proceedings — Guard — Act of Pardon and Oblivion Extended — 
Another Convention Called in Nortli Carolina — Federal Constitution Adopted 
— Sevier Chosen Senator of Greene County; Very Favorably Received; Took 
His Seat — Tennessee Passed Laws to Confirm Administrations Granted and 
Marriages Celebrated under tlie Laws of Frankland — Acts Passed by North 
Carolina in Favor of tlie Western People in 1789 — Watauga Certificates — 
Causes Which Led to the Cession Act of 1789 — Cession Act Passed. 

TT 7 E now draw near to a critical era in the annals of East 
' ^ Tennessee ; and to a legislative proceeding which seemed 
at the time of its birth to be most harmless in itself, but which, 
npon experiment, unexpectedly proved to be the source of great 
disasters and alarms, as well to our neighbors as to the parties 
who were more immediately concerned. 

Congress, harassed with public debt and the clamor of j^iib- 
lic creditors, had thought of many expedients for bringing 
money into their coffers; and one, among others, was pressing 
and repeated recommendations to States owning vacant lands 
to throw them into the common stock for defraying the expenses 
of the late war. 

The Assembly of North Carolina, during their April session 

148 eayayood's histoby of Tennessee. 

at Hillsboro in 1784, participating in the distress wliieli Con- 
gress experienced on the account of tlie financial embarrass- 
ments of the Union, made considerable exertions to remove them. 
They laid taxes and empowered Congress to collect them, and 
vested in Congress, so far as they were concerned, a power to 
levy a duty on foreign merchandise. Partly from the same mo- 
tives, as well as from others, they, in the month of May, passed 
an act for ceding to the Congress of the United States certain 
western lands therein described, authorizing the delegates from 
this State in Congress to execute a deed for the same. By this 
act was ceded all the territory which constitutes the State of 
Tennessee, if Congress would accept of it within the space of 
two years then next following. By another act of the same ses- 
sion it was declared that the sovereignty and jurisdiction of 
North Carolina in and over this territory and all its inhabitants 
shall be and remain in all respects until the United States in 
Congress shall accept of the cession, and as if the act of cession 
had never passed. They at the same time closed the land of- 
fice for this territory, and nullified all entries made since the 
25th of May, 1784, except entries made, or to be made, by the 
commissioners, agents, and surveyors who extended the lines of 
lands attached to the ofiicers and soldiers, and by the guards, 
hunters, chain-carriers, and markers who attended these com- 
missioners. The Assembly adjourned on the 2d day of June, 
1784. It was a part of the cession law that if Congress should 
not accept within two years the act was thenceforward to be of 
no effect. 

We have seen how unremitted were the efforts of the Indiann 
to break up, if possible, and at all events to check the growth of 
the settlements on the Holston, and how often it became neces- 
sary to recall them to a peaceable demeanor by administering to 
them chastisement in their villages. The militia were often 
called together; the equipments for service, as well as the serv- 
ices themselves, demanded considerable expenditures. The sale 
of the western lands had greatly reduced the certificate debt of 
North Carolina. She ought to have yielded a ready assent when 
called on to give protection to the frontiers by discharging the 
debts which had been necessarily contracted in their defense. 
The expenditures became daily more heavy, but the prospect of 
an early settlement of the western lands which were opened by 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 149 

the settlements on Holston had greatly enhanced the value of 
these lands in the market, and had very much facilitated the 
sttle of them; consequently a much greater quantity of certifi- 
cates were brought into her treasury, and with much more ex- 
pedition, too, than otherwise could ^ave been effected. Experi- 
ence was, however, supposed to prove that as the prospects of 
future advantage diminished, so did the readiness of North Car- 
olina to advance the supplies requisite for the protection of the 
western settlers. Tlus disinclination was the more indulged, as 
the Constitution of North Carolina had made provision for a 
future State within her limits on the western side of the Alle- 
ghanies, and as the affairs of the western people seemed verging 
to a crisis from whence a new and independent State was likely 
to arise, the prosperity of which it was not the peculiar duty of 
North Carolina to promote. Nor did it seem politic to her rul- 
ers to lavish their money for the benefit of those who were so 
soon to become strangers to her particular interests. Western 
claims for military service against the Indians began to be re- 
ceived with murmuring, to be passed upon with much scrutiny, 
and to meet with frequent rejection. It was suggested that all 
pretenses were laid hold of to fabricate demands against the 
government, and that the industry and property of those who 
resided on the east side of the mountain were becoming the 
funds appropriated to discharge the debts contracted by those on 
the west. It was partly under the impression made by these sug- 
gestions that the Assembly of North Carolina passed the cession 
act of May, 1784. The opinion was sedulously propagated 
through the western counties that the cession might not be ac- 
cepted for the space of two years, during all which time the peo- 
ple, being neither under the protection of the United States nor 
of the State of North Carolina, would neither receive any sup- 
port from abroad nor be able to command their own resources 
at home. At the same time there was no relaxation of Indian 
hostilities. The District of Washington was not yet entitled to 
a Superior Court; crimes of all sorts, as they weae situated, 
must go unpunished. Nor was it allowed by law for a brigadier- 
general to call into service the militia of the county, and to unite 
its efforts on requisite emergences. Exposed as they were every 
day to the tomahawk of the savages, and seeing no authority to 
whom they could apply for assistance, it became the prevailing 


opinion that tlie people ought of themselves to devise the means 
of drawing- upon their own resources, and of making them ef- 
fectual. Indian visitations assailed them incessantly. The set- 
tlers on the Holston at last seemed to hold their lives only by the 
permission and at the will of the Cherokees. The people at first 
resolved upon the expedient of electing two persons from each 
captain's company who should assemble in the resj)ective coun- 
ties as a committee; these resolved upon a convention of depu- 
ties from all the counties which should adopt such plans as were 
suitable to their circumstances. On the 23d of August, 1784, the 
dej^uties assembled at Jonesboro. The deputies elected for the 
county of Washington were: Charles Kobinson, William Pur- 
phey, John Sevier, Josei:)h Wilson, John Irwin, Samuel Hous- 
ton, William Trimble, William Cox, Landon Carter, Hugh Hen- 
ry, Christopher Taylor, John Chislomy, Samuel Doak, William 
Campbell, Benjamin Holland, John Bean, and Samuel Williams. 
For the county of Sullivan: Joseph Martin, Gilbert Christian, 
William Cocke, John Manifee, William Wallace, John Hall, 
Samuel Wilson, Stokely Donalson, and William Evans. For 
the county of Greene: Daniel Kennedy, Alexander Outlaw, Jo- 
seph Gist, Samuel Weir, Asahel Bawlins, Joseph Ballard, John 
Manghon, John Murphy, David Campbell, Archibald Stone, Abra- 
ham Denton, Charles Robinson, and Elisha Baker. They ap- 
pointed John Sevier, President; and Landon Carter, Clerk. They 
appointed a committee composed of Messrs. Cocke, Outlaw, Car- 
ter, Campbell, Manifee, Martin, Bobinson, Houston, Christian, 
Kennedy, and Wilson to take under consideration the state of 
public affairs relative to the cession of the western country. The 
convention, soon after the commencementof its session, was joined 
by Richard White, a member from Washington. The committee 
upon the state of public affairs, in relation to the cession of the 
western territory, made their report, styling themselves the com- 
mittee to whom was referred the consideration of public affairs, 
especially the cession bill passed at Hillsboro the 2d day of June, 
1784 Your committee say they are of opinion, and judge 
it expedient, that the counties of Washington, Sullivan, and 
Greene, which the cession bill particularly respects, form them- 
selves into an association and combine themselves together in 
order to support the present laws of North Carolina, which may 
not be incompatible with the modes and forms of laying off a 


new State. It is the opinion of your committee that we have a 
just and undeniable right to petition Congress to accept the ces- 
sion made by North Carolina, and for that body to countenance 
■us in forming ourselves into a separate government, and either 
to frame a permanent or temporary Constitution, agreeably to a 
resolve of Congress in such case made and provided, as nearly 
as circumstances will admit. We have the right to keep and 
hold a convention from time to time by meeting and convening 
at such place or places as the said convention shall adjourn to. 
When any contiguous part of Virginia shall make application to 
join this association, after they are legally permitted either by the 
State of Virginia or other power having cognizance thereof, it is 
our opinion that they be received and enjoy the same privileges 
that we do, may, or shall enjoy. This convention has a right to 
adopt and prescribe such regulations as the particular exigences 
of the times and the public good may require; that one or more 
persons ought to be sent to represent our situation in the Con- 
gress of the United States; and this convention has just right 
and authority to prescribe a regular mode for his support. 

It was referred to Messrs. Cocke and Hardin to draw up and 
form the plan of the association heretofore agreed to; that plan, 
on the next day, they reported as follows: 

"To remove the doubts of the scrupulous, to encourage the 
timid, and to induce all, liarmoniously and speedily, to enter 
into a firm association, let the following particulars be mature- 
ly considered: If we should be so happy as to have a sej^arate 
government, vast numbers from different quarters, with a little 
encouragement from the public, would fill up our frontiers, 
which would strengthen us, improve agriculture, perfect manu- 
factories, encourage literature and every thing truly laudable. 
The seat of government being among ourselves would evident- 
ly tend not only to keep a circulating medium in gold and sil- 
ver among us, bat draw it from many individuals living in other 
States who claim large quantities of lands that would lie in the 
bounds of the new State. Add to the foregoing reasons the many 
schemes, as a body, we could execute to draw it among us, and 
the sums which many travelers, out of curiosity, and men in 
public business would expend among us. But all these -advan- 
tages, acquired and accidental, together with many more that 
might be mentioned whilst we are connected with the old coun- 

152 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

ties, may not only bs nearly useless to us, but many of them 
prove injurious; and this will always be the case during a con- 
nection with them, because they are the most numerous, and, 
consequently, wall always be able to make us subservient to 
them ; that our interest must be generally neglected, and some- 
times sacrificed, to promote theirs, as was instanced in the late 
taxation act, in which, notwithstanding our local situation and 
improvement being so evidently inferior, that it is unjust to tax 
our lands equally, yet they have expressly done it; and our lands, 
at the same time, not one-fourth of the same value. And to 
make it still more apparent that we should associate the whole 
councils of the State, the Continental Congress, by their re- 
solves, invite us to it. The Assembly of North Carolina, by 
their late cession bill, opened the door, and by their prudent 
measures invite us to it. And as a closing reason to induce to 
a speedy association, our late convention, chosen to consider 
public affairs and concert measures as appears from their re- 
solves, have unanimously agreed that we should do it by sign- 
ing the following articles: 

"Firstly, that we agreed to intrust the consideration of pub- 
lic affairs, and the prescribing rules necessary to a convention, 
to be chosen by each company as follows: That if any company 
should not exceed thirty, there be one representative; and where 
it contains fifty, there be two; and so in proportion, as near as 
may be; and that their regulations be reviewed by the associa- 

"Secondly, as the welfare of our common country depends 
much on the friendly disposition of Congress, and their rightly 
understanding our situation, we do, therefore, unanimously 
agree to speedily furnish a person, with a reasonable support, 
to present our memorial and negotiate our business in Con- 

"Thirdly, as the welfare of the community also depends much 
on public spirit, benevolence, and regard to virtue, we therefore 
unanimously agree to improve and cultivate these, and to dis- 
countenance every thing of a contradictory and repugnant nat- 

"Fourthly, we unanimously agree to protect this association 
with our lives and fortunes, to which we pledge our faith and 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 153 

These reports being made and concurred with, on motion of 
Mr. Cocke, it was resolved that the clerks of the County Courts, 
who have the bonds and recognizance of any ojfificers; sheriffs 
and collectors, who have collected any of the public moneys, or 
are about now to collect any of the same, are hereby specially 
commanded and required to hold said bonds in their possession 
and custody iintil some mode be adoj^ted and prescribed to have 
our accounts fairly and properly liquidated with the State of 
North Carolina. And they resolved further that all the sheriffs 
and collectors, who have before collected any of the public mon- 
eys, shall be called on, and render due accounts of the moneys 
that they have collected and have in their hands, or may collect 
by virtue of their office. 

Messrs. White and Doak moved and were permitted to enter 
their dissent against both of these resolutions, because, in their 
opinion, it was contrary to law to retain the bonds. They re- 
solved that the next convention be held at the court-house of 
Washington County oh the 16th day of September, 1784, and to 
that day they adjourned. 

We shall presently perceive the reason why a provision was 
so carefully made for the admission of such contiguous parts of 
Virginia as might choose to become members of that society. 
The convention expected the coalition of the people of Wash- 
ington County, in Virginia, and some of their neighbors. 

The Assembly of North Carolina met at New Berne on the 22d 
of October, and rose on the 25th of November. During this 
session they repealed the act for ceding the western country to 
Congress; and in the month of November, 1784, the convention 
again met at Jonei?boro, and broke up in confusion. By this 
time there were three parties in the western counties: one ve- 
hement for a Constitution which had been proposed by the mi- 
nority; a second for the plan approved of by the committee of 
the convention; and a third which thought it would be best to 
return to the State of North Carolina, which was now preparing 
to repeal the cession act, and shortly after did so. At this ses- 
sion North Carolina not only repealed ■ the cession act, but 
divided the District of Morgan, and erected some of the coun- 
ties which formerly composed it into the District of Washing- 
ton — namely, Washington, Sullivan, Davidson, and Greene 
Counties — and appointed an assistant judge and attorney-gen- 

lo-i Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

eral to officiate in tiie Superior Court, which they directed to be 
held for that district at the court-house of Washington County; 
and they provided an additional compensation for any of the 
judges of the Superior Court of North Carolina who would at- 
tend and hold that court with the said assistant judge. They 
also formed the militia of that district into a brigade, and ap- 
pointed Col. Sevier the brigadier-general; and he was satisfied 
with these provisions in favor of the western people, for on the 
day when the people were all collected in Washington County 
to elect dejjuties for the ensuing convention, which was to meet 
on the 14th of December, Col. Sevier, at Jonesboro, where the 
electors were assembled, ascended the steps of an elevated door, 
and took from his pocket a letter which he had received from 
Col. Joseph Martin, who had but just returned from the Assem- 
bly of North Carolina, in which was contained the information 
that the Assembly of North Carolina had granted to the people 
of the western counties a General Court, had formed their mi- 
litia into a brigade, had appointed him the brigadier-general, 
and had repealed the cession act of the last session. "The 
grievances," said he, "which the peoj)le complained of are re- 
dressed, and my recommendation to them is that they proceed 
no fartber in their design to separate from North Carolina." 

By a commission from Gov. Martin, of North Carolina, dated 
the 26th of November, 1784, Col. Sevier was appointed brigadier- 
general of the District of Washington, and, by a written com- 
munication, dated the 1st of January, 1785, and directed to 
Col. Kennedy and the inhabitants of Greene County, he stated 
to them that he had been recently and credibly informed that 
the Legislature of North Carolina had repealed the cession act 
of the last session and had erected the eastern counties into a 
district by the name of Washington; and to prevent confusion 
and controversy amongst the people of those counties, he begged 
that all further pursuits in respect to a new government might 
be declined. 

Mr. Cocke, however, soon afterward had an interview with him 
and erased the favorable impression he had received toward the 
government of North Carolina. The delegates were elected. 
The convention again met at Jonesboro on the 14th of Decem- 
ber, 1784, and, though at this time fully apprised of the repeal 
of the cession act by North Carolina, they proceeded without 

Haywood's iiistory of Tennessee. 155 

any regard to it. Each county had elected five deputies, the 
same number from each county, which, in 1776, had formed the 
Constitution of North Carolina. The deputies chosen from 
Washington were: John Sevier, who was made President of the 
convention, William Cocke, John Tipton, Thomas Stewart, and 
the Kev. Samuel Houston! For the county of Sullivan: David 
Looney, Eichard Gammon, Moses Looney, William Cage, and 
John Long. For the county of Greene: James Keese, Daniel 
Kennedy, John Newman, James Koddye, and Joseph Hardin. 
They agreed upon the form of a Constitution under which the 
new government should be organized and act till it should be 
rejected or received by a new convention, which they directed to 
be elected and to meet at Greeneville on the 14th of November, 
1785. Before a final ratification of the new Constitution, they 
wished to excite discussion amongst the people and to elicit and 
collect the public sentiment upon its merits or defects. In the 
meantime it was ordained that the Assembly at Frankland, for 
that was the name given to the new State, should be elected and 
should meet early in the year of 1785, for the purpose of put- 
ting into operation the new government. The Assembly met at 
the appointed time to legislate for the State of Frankland, and 
elected John Sevier Governor, David Campbell a judge of the 
superior court, and Joshua Gist and John Anderson assistant 
judges. Landon Carter w^as Speaker of the Senate, and '^\'illiam 
Cage Speaker of the House of Commons. They appointed like- 
wise all other officers, civil and military, which by the forms of 
the new Constitution they were authorized to make. The ap- 
pointments generally fell tipon those who already held offices 
under the State of North Carolina. The new appointments were 
generally accepted and acted under. The government of Frank- 
land being thus organized, and the agents to administer it being 
thus prepared, it soon afterward went into full operation. 

The Assembly of Frankland, by a communication signed by 
the two Speakers and transmitted to Alexander Martin, Esq., 
the Governor of North Carolina, announced to him that they and 
the inhabitants of the counties of Washington, Sullivan, and 
Greene had declared themselves independent of the State of 
North Carolina, and no longer considered themselves under the 
sovereignty and jurisdiction of that State. In this document 
they set forth the reasons for their separation. On the 25th of 


April, 1785, Gov. Martin issued his manifesto, in wLicli lie stated 
and answered seriatim each alleged cause of separation. One 
reason, said he, is that the western country was ceded to Con- 
gress without their consent, by an act of the Legislature, and 
the same was repealed in the same manner. To this he replied 
that the impartial world may judge. Let facts be brought for- 
ward and speak for themselves. The journals of the Assembly 
hold up to public view the names of those who voted on the dif- 
ferent sides of that important question, where is found a con- 
siderable ^number, if not a majority of the members, some of 
whom are leaders in the present revolt, then representing the 
above counties in the aforesaid territory, in support of the act 
they now deem impolitic, and pretend to reprobate, which in all 
probability would not have passed but through their influence 
and assiduity, the passage of which was at length affected but 
by a small majority. That government should still be support- 
ed and the anarchy prevented, which it is now suggested the 
western people were ready to fall into; the sovereignty and ju- 
risdiction of the State of North Carolina were by another act 
passed at the same Assembly reserved over the ceded territory, 
with full power and form as before, until Congress shall accept 
the cession aforesaid. The last Assembly having learned what 
uneasiness and discontent the cession act had occasioned through 
the State, whose inhabitants had not been consiilted in that pre- 
cipitate measure, judging the act impolitic at this time, more es- 
pecially as it would, for a small consideration, dismember the 
State of oue-half her territory, when no one State had parted 
with any of her citizens on the like occasion, or given any thing 
like an equivalent but vacant lands of a disputed title and dis- 
tant situation; aud also, considering that the act by its tenor 
and form was revocable at any time before the delegates should 
complete the cession by grant, repealed it by a great majority. 
At the same time the Assembly, to satisfy the people of the 
western country that although they had ceded the vacant terri- 
tory, by no means had relinquished the sovereignty and juris- 
diction of the State over them, and to convince them of their 
affection and attention to their interest, attempted to render 
government as easy as possible to them by removing such incon- 
veniences and grievances as they might labor under for want of 
a regular administration of criminal justice, and a proper and 


immediate command o£ the militia. A new district was erected, 
an assistant judge and a brigadier-general were appointed. 

Another reason for the revolt is assigned that the Assembly, 
on passing the cession act, shipped a quantity of goods they had 
intended for the Cherokee Indians as a compensation for their 
claims to the western lands, and that the Indians had committed 
murder in consequence thereof. The journals of the Assembly 
evince the contrary, that the goods were still ordered to be 
given to the Indians, but under the regulation of Congress, 
should the cession take place. This occasioned the delay of not 
immediately sending them forward, of which the Indians were 
particularly and timely notified. "And I am well informed," 
said he, " that no hostilities or mischiefs had been committed on 
this account; but, on the other hand, that provocations have been 
and are daily given, their lauds trespassed upon, and even one 
of their chiefs murdered with impunity. On the repeal of the 
cession act, a treaty was ordered to be held with the Indians 
and the goods distributed as soon as the season would permit, 
which before this would have been carried into effect had not 
the face of affairs been changed. Under what character but 
truly disgraceful could the State of North Carolina suffer treat- 
ies to be held with the Indians, and other business transacted 
in a country where her authority and government were rejected 
and set at naught, and her officers liable to insult and void of 
assistance and protection? 

"The particular attention the Legislature have paid to the in- 
terest of the western citizens, t^iough calculated to conciliate 
their affections and esteem, has not been satisfactory, but has 
been attributed to lucrative designs. Whatever designs the As- 
sembly might entertain in the repeal of the cession act, they 
appear to be in favor of the State at large, that every citizen 
might reap the advantage of the vacant territory, by reserving 
it for the payment of the public debts of the State, under such 
regulations hereafter to be adopted, judging it ill-timed generos- 
ity to be too liberal of the means which would greatly contribute 
to their honesty. But designs of a more dangerous nature, and of 
a deeper dye, seemed to glare in the western revolt. The power 
usurped over the vacant territory, the Union deriving no emol- 
ument from it, not even the part intended this State by the 
cession, being reserved; her jurisdiction and sovereignty over 

158 Haywood's histoby of Tennessee, 

the country, which by the consent o£ its representatives were 
to remain, and to be exercised, rejected, and deposed; her rev- 
enue in that part of the government seized by the new authority 
and not suffered to be paid to the lawful treasury, but appropri- 
ated to jjurposes different from those intended by the Legislat- 
ture — are all facts that evince a restless ambition and lawless 
thirst for power to have inspired this enterprise, by which those 
persons concerned therein may be precipitated into measures 
which must at last bring down ruin upon themselves and our 
country at large. In order, therefore, to reclaim such citizens, 
who, by specious pretenses and the arts of designing men, have 
been seduced from their allegiance to the State, to restrain oth- 
ers from following their example who are wavering, and to con- 
firm the attachment and affection of those who adhere to the old 
government, and whose fidelity has not yet been shaken, I have, 
said he, thought proper to issue this manifesto, warning all per- 
sons concerned in the revolt that they return to their duty and 
allegiance, and forbear pajdng any obedience to any self-created 
power and authority unknown to the Constitution of the State, 
and unsanctioned by the Legislature; that far less causes have 
deluged States and kingdoms in blood, which have at length 
terminated their existence, either by subjecting them a prey to 
foreign conquerors, or erecting in their room a despotism that 
has bid defiance to time to shake off the lowest state of misery 
human nature can be reduced to under such a government. 
That they should reflect, there is a natural pride in all kingdoms 
and States which inspires every citizen and subject with impor- 
taiKje, the grand cement and support of government which 
must not be insulted. That the honor of this State has been 
particularly wounded by prematurely seizing that by violence 
which in time, no doubt, would have ])een granted by consent, 
when the terms of separation could have been explained and 
stipulated to the mutual satisfaction of the mother and new 
State, That Congress, by the confederation, cannot countenance 
such a separation, wherein the State of North Carolina has not 
given her full consent, and if an implied and conditional one has 
been given, it has been rescinded by a full Legislature. So sol- 
emn and serious a business will be transacted with caution ; that 
by such rash, irregular conduct a precedent is formed for every 
district, or even every county in the State, to claim the right of 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 159 

separation and independence for any supposed grievance of the 
inhabitants, as caprice, pride, or ambition shall dictate, with 
impunity, thereby exhibiting to the world a melancholy instance 
of a feeble and pusillanimous government that is unable, or does 
not restrain the designs or punish the offenses of its lawless 
citizens, which will give ample cause of exultation to our late 
enemies, and raise their hopes that they may hereafter gain by 
the divisions among ourselves that dominion which their tyranny 
and arms have lost, and could not maintain. That the citizens 
of the western country tarnish not the laurels they so gloriously 
won at King's Mountain and elsewhere in supporting the inde- 
pendence of the United States, and this in particular, to be 
whose citizens was their boast, in being concerned in a black 
and traitorous revolt from the government in whose defense 
they have so copiously bled, and still, by solemn oath, are bound 
to support. Let not Vermont be held out as an example. Ver- 
mont had her claims for a separation before the existence of the 
American war, and as such with the other States has exercised 
her efforts against the late common enemy. That you be not 
insulted or led away with the pageantry of a mock government, 
without the essentials; a shadow without the substance, which 
always dazzles weak minds, and which, in its present form and 
manner of existence, will not only subject you to the ridicule and 
contempt of the world in general, and raise the indignation of 
the other States in the Union at your intruding yourselves as a 
power amongst them without their consent. Consider what a 
number of men of different abilities will be wanting to fill the 
civil list of the State of Frankland, the expense necessary to sup- 
port them according to their various degrees of dignity; when 
the District of Washington, with its present officers, might an- 
swer all the purposes of a happy government until the period 
arrived when a separation might take place to mutual advan- 
tage and satisfaction, on an honorable footing. 

" The Legislature will shortly sit, before which the transactions 
of your leaders will be laid. Let your representatives come for- 
ward and present every grievance in a constitutional manner, 
that they may be redressed; or let your terms of separation be 
made known, your proportion of the public debt be ascertained, 
the vacant territory appropriated to the mutual benef fe of both 
parties, in such manner and proportion as may be just and rea- 

160 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

sonable. Let your proposals be consistent with tlie honor of 
the State to accede to, which, by your allegiance as good citi- 
zens, you cannot violate, and he made no doubt her generosity 
would meet their wishes. But, on the contrary, should you," he 
continued, "be hurried by blind ambition to persist in your pres- 
ent unjustifiable measures, which may open afresh wounds of 
this late bleeding country, and plunge it again in the miseries 
of civil war, which God avert, let the fatal consequence be 
charged on the authors. It is only time which can reveal the 
event. The State with reluctance will be driven to arms. It 
will be her last alternative to imbrue her hands in the blood of 
her citizens. But if no other way or means can be found to save 
her honor and reclaim her headlong, refractory citizens but this 
last-named expedient, her resources are not so exhausted, or her 
spirit so damped, but that she may take satisfaction for the in- 
jury received, regain her government over the revolted territo- 
ry, or render it not worth the possessing. But all these effepts 
may be prevented by removing the cause, by those who have 
swerved from their duty and allegiance returning to the same, 
and those who have stood firm still continuing to support the 
government of the State until the consent of the Legislature be 
fully and constitutionally had for a separate sovereignty and ju- 
risdiction, all which, by virtue of the power and authority which 
your representatives and others in the State at large have in- 
vested me with in General Assembly, I hereby command and 
require, as you will be liable to answer all the pains and penal- 
ties that may ensue on the contrary." 

This State paper, conceived in the glowing spirit of the day, 
presents to full view the governing motives of the contending 
parties — the alleged causes of separation, together with the ar- 
guments then resorted to for their refutation, the topics then 
dwelt upon, and the sentiments recommended in place of those 
which the chosen leaders of the new government had avowed, 
and were endeavoring to propagate — it gives a fresh and ani- 
mated picture of the times, and therefore, upon this subject, is 
of great importance. Copies were dispersed and read among 
the citizens of the new State. Many were induced to look more 
deeply into the subject than they had before done; and the ad- 
herents of North Carolina were supplied with new weapons to 
be used against their adversaries as fresh stimulants to perse- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 161 

vere in tlie course tliey were pursuing. But, as was to be ex- 
pected, the goYernment of Frankland did not recede from its 
purposes, nor harbor the most distant thought of abandoning 
the position it had taken. It soon began, however, to experience 
an increased weight of opposition; and those who were learned 
in politics could already begin to j^erceive the deleterious princi- 
ple by which the first constitution of every system, whether nat- 
ural or political, is destined at some future period to be brought 
to an end. 

County Courts as well as Superior Courts were established, 
and justices of the peace were appointed. All acted in the places 
assigned them. New counties were erected — Caswell, Spencer, 
and Sevier. The latter county covered the same territory that 
it now does, and some part of what is at present the County of 
Blount. Caswell County occupied the section of country which 
is now Jefferson. Spencer County occupied what is now Haw- 

On the 10th of June, 1785, the Governor, by proclamation, 
announced the appointment of Mr. Eamsey as Clerk of the Su- 
perior Court for the District of AVashington. County and Su- 
perior Courts were held, and the militia was mustered and dis- 
ciplined under its authority. Samuel Weir was the Clerk of the 
County Court of Sevier, and colonel of the militia. Samuel 
Newell and John Clack were the Representatives of the county 
in the next General Assembly. Thomas Henderson was the 
Clerk of the County Qourt of Spencer and colonel of the mi- 
litia; and William Cocke and Thomas King Representatives. 
Joseph Hamilton was the Clerk of the County Court of Caswell, 
George Doherty was colonel of the militia, and Alexander Out- 
law and Henry Caney Representatives. Daniel Kennedy was 
the Clerk of the County of Greene, and John Newman colonel 
of the militia. James Sevier was the Clerk of the County Court 
of Washington. John Rhea was the Clerk of the County Court 
of Sullivan; George Maxwell, Col. John Long, John Provin, and 
George Maxwell, members of the Assembly. Landon Carter 
was appointed Secretary of State; Daniel Kennedy and William 
Cocke, brigadier-generals; and they delegated William Cocke to 
represent their situation to the Congress of the United States. 
Mr. Cage was elected Treasurer, and Stokely Donaldson, Sur- 
veyor. In the place of the late Speaker of the House of Com- 

162 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

mons they made Joseph Hardin, from Greene Connty, the 
Speaker. And thus the new government seemed to float upon 
the full tide of success. 

The following is a list of the acts of the first session of the 
first General Assembly of Frankland. They were ratified on 
the 31st of March, 1785; were signed by Landon Carter, Speaker 
of the Senate; countersigned by Thomas Talbot, Clerk of the 
Senate; and by William Cage, Speaker of the House of Com- 
mons; countersigned by Thomas Chapman, Clerk of the House: 

An act to establish the legal claims of persons claiming any 
property under the laws of North Carolina, in the same manner 
as if the State of Frankland had never formed itself into a dis- 
tinct and separate State. 

An act to appoint commissioners, and to vest them with full 
power to make deeds of conveyance to such persons as have 
purchased lots in the town of Jonesboro. 

An act for the promotion of learning in the County of Wash- 

An act to establish a militia in this State. 

An act for dividing Sullivan County, and part of Greene, into 
two distinct counties, and erecting a county by the name of 

An act for procuring a great seal for this State. 

An act directing the method of electing members of the Gen- 
oral Assembly. 

An act to divide Greene County into tjiree separate and dis- 
tinct counties, and to erect two counties by the name of Caswell 
and Sevier. 

An act to ascertain the value of gold and silver foreign coin, 
and the paper currency now in circulation in the State of North 
Carolina, and to declare the same to be a lawful tender in this 

An act for levying a tax for the support of government. 

An act to ascertain the salaries allowed the Governor, Attor- 
ney-general, judges of the Superior Courts, assistant judges. Sec- 
retary, Treasurer, and members of the Council of State. 

An act for ascertaining what property in this State shall be 
deemed taxable property, the method of assessing the same, and 
collecting public taxes. 

An act to ascertain the powers and authorities of the judges 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee, 163 

of tlie Superior Courts, the assistant judges, and justices of the 
peace; and of the County Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 
and denoting the time and place of holding the same. 

An act for erecting a part of Washington County, and that 
part of Wilkes County lying west of the extreme heights of the 
Appalachian and Alleghany Mountains, into a separate and dis- 
tinct county by the name of Wayne. 

These laws were nearly copies of those made in North Car- 
olina upon the organization of the revolutionary government. 
Their style was this: "Be it enacted by the General Assembly 
of the State of Frankland." The present temporary form of 
government, until a new Constitution should be made by the 
people, was that of North Carolina. The State of Frankland, 
at the rise of this session, was composed of the counties of 
Washington, Sullivan, Greene, Caswell, Sevier, Wayne, and 
Spencer. The first Monday of August was fixed by law for the 
annual meeting of the Legislature. In the law for levying a tax 
for the support of the government was the clause following: 

"i?e it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the afore- 
said land tax, and all free polls, to be paid in the following man- 
ner: Good flax linen, ten hundred, at three shillings and six 
pence per yard; nine hundred, at three shillings; eight hundred, 
two shillings and nine pence; seven hundred, two shillings and 
six pence; six hundred, two shillings. Tow linen, one shilling 
and nine j^ence; liusey, three shillings; and woolen and cotton 
linsey, three shillings and six pence per yard; good, clean, beav- 
er skins, six shillings; cased otter skins, six shillings; nncased 
otter skins, five shillings; raccoon and fox skins, one shilling 
and three pence; woolen cl^th, at ten shillings per yard; 
bacon, well cured, six pence per pound; good, clean tallow, six 
pence per pound; good, clean bees-wax, one shilling per pound; 
good, distilled rye whisky, at two shillings and six pence per 
gallon; good peach or apple brandy, at three shillings per gal- 
loon; good, country-made sugar, at one shilling per pound; deer 
skins, the pattern, six shillings; good, neat, and well-managed 
tobacco, fit to be prized, that may pass inspection, the hundred, 
fifteen shillings, and so on in proportion for a greater or less 
quantity." They by law estimated two dollars and a half to be 
equal to fifteen shillings of the current money of Frankland. 
They allowed the Governor annually two hundred pounds; the 

164 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

attorney-general twenty-five pounds for each court he attended; 
the Secretary twenty-five pounds for the present year, over and 
above the fees allowed him by law; the judge of the superior 
court, one hundred and fifty pounds for the present year; the 
assistant judges twenty-five pounds each for every court they 
shall attend; the Treasurer, forty pounds per year; and each 
member of council, six shillings per day for each day he shall 
be in actual service. The last section of the act is in these 
words: "And all the salaries and allowances hereby made shall 
be paid by the Treasurer, sheriff, or collector of public taxes, to 
any person entitled to the same, to be paid in specific articles as 
collected, and the rates allowed by the State for the same, or in 
current money of the State of Frankland." In specifying the 
skins which might be received as a commutation for money, the 
risibility of the unthinking was sometimes excited at the remu- 
neration. The rapidity of wit, which never stops to be informed, 
and which delights by its oddities, established it as an axiom 
that the salaries of the Governor, judges, and other officers were 
to be paid in skins absolutely; and, to add to their merriment, 
had them payable in mink skins. This idea has been the theme 
of much pleasantry toward the citizens of Frankland. But, in 
sober reason, it is to be remembered that the lord proprietors of 
Carolina, at an early day, preferred peltry to paper bills of credit; 
and certainly, even now, there are quantities of paper money in 
the United States between which and the mink skins of East 
Tennessee there would be no comi3arison nor any hesitancy in 
giving the. preference to the mink skins. 

It is to be remarked that in the State of Frankland at that day 
merchants from the north were always ready with their gold 
and silver to purchase skins and furs, which could be at any 
moment exchanged for gold and silver at certain well-known 
and well-established prices, with as much ease as a bill of ex- 
change could now be converted into cash, and in some instances 
with much more certainty. And it may be safely said that at 
this moment it would be a matter of great consolation to many of 
the citizens of Tennessee had some of their banks been founded 
on mink skin capital. The government of Frankland was not in- 
attentive to their relations with the neighboring Indians. Gov. 
Sevier, with two others, Alexander Outlaw and Daniel Kennedy, 
were appointed commissioners to treat with them, and met a 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 165 

great number of the Cherokee chiefs with the king of the Cher- 
okees, at the house of Maj. Henry, on the French Broad Eiver, on 
the 31st of May, 1785, and continued their conferences to the 2d 
of June. The Indians agreed in the end that all the lands on 
the south of the French Broad and the Holston, as far as the di- 
viding ridge between Little River and Great Tennessee, maybe 
inhabited by the white people, for which, in general terms, they 
are promised compensation. Both parties professed a sincere de- 
sire for the blessings of peace and an ardent wish that it might 
be of long continuance. The Governor, in a spfeech well calcu- 
lated to produce the end he had in view, deplored the sufferings 
of the white people; the blood which the Indians had spilled on 
the road leading to Kentucky; lamented the uncivilized state of 
the Indians, and, to prevent all future animosities he suggested 
the propriety of fixing the bounds, beyond which these settle- 
ments should not be extended which had been imprudently made 
on the south side of the French Broad and the Holston, under 
the connivance of North Carolina, and could not now be broken 
up; and he pledged the faith of the State of Frankland, if these 
bounds should be agreed upon and made known, that the citi- 
zens of this State should be effectually restrained from all en- 
croachment beyond it. The Assembly met again in August and 
passed laws for promoting the views of the new government. 
They passed a law for encouraging the expedition which it was 
intended should proceed down the river on the western side and 
take possession of the bend of the Tennessee, under the titles 
derived from the State of Georgia. A division into parties had 
commenced and was silently making its way, and the flames of 
discord were fanned by the repealing act of North Carolina. 
One party began to prefer an adherence to North Carolina, and 
the other harbored the wish to oppose all practical impediments 
to the government of Frankland. The powers of government, 
however, were exercised in the name of the new State, without 
any remarkable obstruction, till some time toward the latter part 
of the year 1785. It was found in the fall of this year that the 
novelty of change and of new titles and dignities possessed 
fascinations which were not confined to the counties that now 
constituted the State of Frankland. Washington County, in Vir- 
ginia, adjoined the county of Sullivan, and neither ambition nor 
pretexts were wanting to stir up among the populace, ever cap- 

166 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

tivated by new spectacles, a desire to be separated from the 
mother State. The seeds of disaffection were industriously sown 
among the people of Washington and their neighbors. Such 
topics as supplied the most spacious grounds of complaint were 
fixed upon and carefully introduced into public discourses. As 
discontents were perceived to arise, the scheme of disapproba 
tion of public measures gradually advanced; at length its objects 
were so daringly avowed as to call for the interposition of the 
chief magistrate of Virginia. 

In the month of October, 1785, Gov Henry communicated to 
the Assembly of Virginia the intelligence he had received, in 
the following words: "I transmit herewith a letter from the 
Honorable Mr. Hardy, covering a memorial to Congress from 
sundry inhabitants of Washington County, praying the estab- 
lishment of an independent State, to be bounded as therein ex- 
pressed. The proposed limits include a vast extent of country 
in which we have numerous and very respectable settlements, 
which, in their growth, will form an invulnerable barrier be- 
tween this country and those who, in the course of events, may 
occupy the vast places westward of the mountains, some of 
whom have views incompatible with our safety. Already the 
militia of that part of the State is the most respectable we have, 
and by their means it is that the neighboring Indians are awed 
into professions of friendship. But a circumstance has lately hap- 
pened which renders the possession of territory at the present 
time indispensable to the peace and safety of Virginia. I mean 
the assumption of sovereign power by the western inhabitants of 
North Carolina. If the people who, without consulting their 
own safety, or any other authority known in American consti- 
tutions, have assumed government, and while unallied to us, and 
under no engagements to pursue the objects of federal govern- 
ment, shall be strengthened by the accession of so great a part 
of our country, consequences fatal to our repose will probably 

" It is to be observed that the settlements of this new soci- 
ety stretch into a great extent in contact with ours in AVashing- 
ton County, and thereby expose our citizens to the contagion of 
the example which bids fair to destroy the peace of North Car- 
olina. In this state of things, it is that variety of information 
has come to me stating that several persons, but especially Col. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 167 

Artliur Campbell, have used their utmost endeavors, and with 
some success, to persuade the citizens in that quarter to break 
oflp from this commonwealth and to attach themselves to the 
newly assumed government, or to erect one distinct from it. 
And to effect this purpose, the equality and authority of the 
laws have been arraigned, the collection of the taxes impeded, 
and our national character impeached. If this most important 
part of our territory be lopped off, we lose that barrier for which 
our people have long and often fought; that nursery of sol- 
diers from which future armies may be levied, and through 
which it will be almost impossible for our enemies to penetrate. 

"We shall aggrandize the new State, whose connections, views, 
and designs we know not; shall cease to be formidable to our 
savage neighbors, or respectable to our western settlements, at 
present or in future. 

" Whilst thesd and many other matters were contemplated by 
the executive, it is natural to suppose the attempt at separation 
was discouraged by every lawful means, the chief of which was 
displacing such of the field officers of the militia in Washington 
County as were active partisans for separation, in order to pre- 
vent the weight of ofiice being put ia the scale against Virginia. 
To this end a proclamation was issued, declaring the militia 
laws of the last session in force in that county, and appoint- 
ments were made agreeable to it. I hope to be excused for ex- 
pressing a wish that the Assembly, in deliberating on this affair, 
will prefer lenient measures, in order to reclaim our erring citi- 
zens. Their taxes have run into three years, and thereby grown 
to an amount beyond the ability of many to discharge; while 
the system of our trade has been' such as to render their agri- 
culture unproductive of money. And I cannot but suppose 
that if even the warmest supporters of separation had seen the 
mischievous consequences, they would have retraced and con- 
sidered that intemperance in their own proceedings which op- 
position in sentiment is too apt to produce." 

The disapprobation of this great patriot and enlightened man, 
though it eventually suppressed the multitudinary commotions 
in Washington, of Virginia, had not the like effect upon the new 
government of Frankland. 

The limits proposed for the new government of Frankland by 
CoL Arthur Campbell and the people of Virginia who aimed at 

168 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

a separation from that State, were expressed in the form of a 
Constitution, wliicli Col. Campbell drew up for public examina- 
tion, and were tliese: Beginning at a point on the top of the Al- 
leghany or Appalachian Mountains so as a line drawn due 
north from thence will touch the banks of New Piiver, otherwise 
called Kenhawa, at the confluence of Little River, which is about 
one mile above Ingle's Ferry; down the said river Kenhawa to 
the mouth of Kencovert or Green Briar River; a direct line 
from thence to the nearest summit of the Laurel Mountain, and 
along the highest part of the same to the point where it is in- 
tersected by the parallel of thirty-seven degrees north latitude; 
west along that latitude to a j^oint where it is met by a meridian 
line that passes through the lower part of the rapid of Ohio; 
south along the meridian to Elk River, a branch of the Tennes- 
see, down this said river to its mouth, and down the Tennessee 
to the most southwardly part or bend in said river; a brief line 
from thence to that branch of the Mobile called Donbigbee; 
down said river Donbigbee to its junction with the Coosawatee 
River, to the mouth of that branch of it called the Hightower; 
thence south to the top of the Appalachian Mountains, or the 
highest land that divided the sources of the eastern from the 
western waters, northwardly along the middle of said heights and 
the top of the Appalachian Mountain to the beginning. It was 
stated in the proposed form that the inhabitants within these 
limits agree with each other to form themselves into a free, sov- 
ereign, and independent body, politic or State, by the name of 
the Commonwealth of Frankland. The laws of the Legislature 
were to be enacted by the General Assembly of the Common- 
wealth of Frankland; and all the laws and ordinances which had 
been before adopted, used, and approved in the different parts 
of this State, whilst under the jurisdiction of Virginia and 
North Carolina, shall still remain the rule of decision in all 
cases for the respective limits for which they were formerly 
adopted, and shall continue in full force until altered or re- 
pealed by the Legislature; such parts only excepted as are re- 
pugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this Constitu- 
tion or those of the said respective States. 

The Assembly of North Carolina, which commenced its session 
at Newbern on the 19th of November, 1785, passed an act preced- 
ed by a preamble, in which it is stated as represented to the As- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 169 

sembly tliat mauy of the inhabitants of Washington, Greene, and 
Sullivan Counties have withdrawn their allegiance from this 
State, and have been erecting a temporary separate government 
amongst themselves, in consequence of a general report and be- 
lief that the State being inattentive to their welfare had ceased 
to regard them as citizens, and had made an absolute cession, 
both of the soil and jurisdiction of the country in which they re- 
side, to the United States, in Congress. And whereas such re- 
port was ill-founded, and it was and continues to be the desire 
of the General Assembly of this State to extend the benefits of 
civil government to citizens and inhabitants of the western 
counties until such time as they might be separated with advan- 
tage and convenience to themselves. And the Assembly are 
ready to pass over and consign to oblivion the mistakes and mis- 
conduct of such persons in the above-mentioned counties as 
have withdrawn themselves from the government of this State; 
to hear and redress their grievances, if any they have, and to af- 
ford them the protection and benefits of government until such 
time as they may be in a condition, from their numbers and 
wealth, to be formed into a separate commonwealth, and be re- 
ceived by the United States as a member of the Union. By the 
act itself they put in total oblivion all matters and things done 
and transacted by the inhabitants of the counties aforesaid, in 
setting up or endeavoring to set up an independent government, 
and carrying on the same, and pardoned the same, provided they 
returned to their allegiance to this State; and they appointed 
elections to be held in those counties, of persons to represent 
them in the next General Assembly of North Carolina; and the 
freemen were authorized to elect three good men to superintend 
and act as inspectors of the poll in case of the failure of the 
County Court to appoint inspectors, as the standing laws of 
elections required; and the inspectors thus chosen by the free- 
men were empowered to make a return and certificate of the 
persons duly elected; they also gave eighteen months further 
time for the completion of surveys; they also at this session ap- 
pointed officers for the revolted counties, both civil and milita- 
ry, in place of those who had been appointed by the govern- 
ment of Frankland. Notwithstanding these advances toward a 
good understanding and reconciliation by the Assembly of 
North Carolina, mauy of the inhabitants of the western counties 

170 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

resolved never to return to a dependence on that State, and to 
maintain the government which they were forming for them- 
selves at all hazards. 

The convention at Jonesboro in December, 1784, and the As- 
sembly of Frankland in August, 1785, had recommended to the 
people to choose a convention for the purpose of adopting the 
proposed Constitution, or of altering it as they should instruct. 
Deputies were elected accordingly, and met at Greeneville on 
the 14th of December, 1785. From different parts of the new 
State the people forwarded instructions which showed that 
there was a great diversity of sentiment among them. The 
convention, after some debate, agreed to appoint a committee 
who should prejDare a form of government to be laid before the- 
convention, that it might be examined, altered, amended, and 
added to, as the majority should think proper; and that thus it 
might be j^erfected and finished in as accurate a manner as the 
united wisdom of the members could devise. After the com- 
mittee retired, the first thing they agreed upon was to proceed 
upon the business by taking the Constitution of North Carolina 
for their groundwork; and, together with it, all the political 
helps that the thirteen Constitutions of the United States, the 
instructions of the people, and any other quarter might afford, 
to prepare a report to lay before the convention. In this man- 
ner the committee proceeded, adhering strictly to the ground- 
work (the Constitution of North Carolina), retaining of it what- 
ever appeared suitable, and to it added pieces out of other 
political helj)s till they had so formed their plan that it might 
be laid before the whole convention, and be examined, altered, 
amended, and improved, as the majority should think best. 
The whole house having met, the report of the committee was 
laid before them, and entirely rejected, in consequence of which, 
on motion of Mr. Cocke, the w^hole house took up the Constitu- 
tion of North Carolina, and, hastily reading it, approved of it in 
the general; whilst the friends of the report of the committee 
strove to introduce it, but all in vain. Some material points of 
their plan — a single house of legislation, equal and adequate 
representation, the exclusion of attorneys from the Assembly, 
etc. — and failing in the most important points, as they con- 
ceived, they, by the unanimous consent of the whole covention, 
were permitted to enter upon the journals their dissent to what 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 171 

had been carried in convention; and also to hold out to the peo- 
ple, for their consideration, the rejoort of the committee, except 
the greater part of the 32d Section, which, upon second thought, 
they expunged. The dissent which they entered upon the jour- 
nals was as follows: 

" The dissent is because we deem the report of the committee 
(excluding that part of the 32d Article which fixes a tax upon 
certain articles, as indigo, tobacco, flour, etc. ) to be the sense of 
a majority of the freemen of Frankland; and more agreeable to 
a republican government, which report, so considered, we hold 
out for the consideration of the people." Signed: "David 
Campbell, Samuel Houston, John Tipton, John Wier, Eobert 
Love, William Cox, David Craig, James Montgomery, John 
Strain, Robert Allison, Itevid Looney, John Blair, James White, 
Samuel Newell, John Gilliland, James Stuart, George Maxwell, 
Joseph Tipton, and Peter Parkison" — nineteen in all. 

A great outcry was raised against the report, and its friends 
vindicated it by an appeal to the public, in which a wounded 
spirit is very discernible. They accounted for and excused the 
inaccuracies of the report, and sheltered it from severe and crit- 
ical remarks. They said it was certain, from the nature of 
things, and the declarations of mauy of those who entered the 
dissent, that they did not look upon the report as a finished and 
perfect piece, as its warmest advocates themselves said in con- 
vention. Both they and its enemies meant to inspect every 
paragraph narrowly, and what, upon mutual deliberation, ap- 
peared good to receive and by a majority of votes confirm; and 
what did not, to reject. For the true light in which it should 
be viewed was, as they declared, that every sentence was a mere 
proposal unfinished, unconfirmed, and not to be established 
until the whole house, after due examination and debate upon 
it, had approved of it. "And," said they, "it must appear that 
the loud and bitter outcry that has been raised against the report 
and its friends is not like the friendly criticism of loving citi- 
zens, but resembles the advantages which enemies take of each 
other, and the use they make of them, when excited by malice 
and bitter emnity." They besought the public to lay aside 
prejudice and to search honestly for the truth, and not for 
quibbling defects — particularly M'eighing every part in connec- 
tion with the whole, whence it might be seen that the greater 

172 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

part and substance of the report of the committee contains prin- 
ciples, provisions, and restrictions which secure the poor and 
the ruled from being trampled upon by the rich and the ralers; 
also their property and money from being taken away to sup- 
port the extravagance of the great men; aud that it is full of 
that which tends to free them from the prevailing enormous 
wickedness, and to make the citizens virtuous. And that it is 
well calculated to open the eyes of the people, to look upon the 
proceedings of the public, and to know and judge for themselves 
when their rights and privileges are enjoyed, or infringed; and 
therefore suitable to remove ignorance from the country; is as 
beneficial to men who wish to live upon the people, as ignomin- 
ious in the Church of Home to support the tyranny of the pope 
and his clergy. Then follows in their*public address the Con- 
stitution which the committee recommended in their report. 

The same convention which established the Constitution of 
North Carolina for the State of Frankland sent William Cocke, 
Esq., with a memorial to Congress, together with the Constitu- 
tion they had agreed to, and with an application to be admitted 
into the Union. Congress gave no ear to the application, and 
Mr. Cocke returned without effecting any of the objects of his 

In this year (1785) the Assembly of Georgia, by an act passed 
for the purpose, established a county by the name of Houston, 
opposite the Indian town called Nickajack, in the bend of the 
Tennessee, opposite the Muscle Shoals, including all the terri- 
tory which belonged to Georgia on the north side of the Ten- 
nessee. They appointed Col. Hord, Col. Downs, Mr. Lindsay, 
John Donalson, and Col. Sevier to act as commissioners, with 
authority to organize the new county. They opened the land of- 
fice there, appointed Col. John Donalson surveyor, and author- 
ized the issuance of warrants. The commissioners, with eighty 
or ninety men, descended the river to the point where it was in- 
tersected by the State line. They appointed military officers 
and justices of the peace, and elected Valentine Sevier, the 
brother of Gov. Sevier, to represent them in the General Assem- 
bly of Georgia. The land-warrants were signed by John Don- 
alson and John Sevier, and were dated the 21st of December, 
1785. After remaining there a fortnight, dreading the hostile 
appearance which the Indians manifested, they broke up the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 173 

settlements and withdrew. Zacliariali Cox was with them, who, 
with two others by the name of Smith, and two by the name of 
Bean, had been sent by Col. Wade Hampton to explore the 
country. Valentine Sevier went to the Assembly of Georgia to 
take his seat, but was not received. Col. Hampton then had land- 
warrants from South Carolina, with which he intended to cover 
the lands to the distance of several miles from the North Car- 
olina line, contending in behalf of Sonth Carolina that the head 
branches of the Savannah did not reach the North Carolina lijie 
by several miles; and that a line due west from the head to the 
Mississippi was the boundary of Georgia. This claim was aft- 
erward abandoned, and Col. Hampton failed in the attempt to 
obtain his titles. 

In the early part of the year 1786 was presented the strange 
spectacle of two empires exercised at one and the same time 
over one and the same people. County Courts were held in the 
same counties under both governments; the militia was called 
out by officers appointed by both ; laws were passed by both As- 
semblies, and taxes were laid by the authority of both States. 
The differences in opinion in the State of Fraukland between 
those who adhered to the government of North Carolina and 
those who were the friends of the new government became every 
day more acrimonious. Every fresh provocation on the one side 
was surpassed in the way of retaliation by a still greater provo- 
cation on the other. The jiidges commissioned by the State of 
Frankland held Supreme Courts twice in each year in Jones- 
borough. Col. Tij)ton openly refused obedience to the new gov- 
ernment. Tliere arose a deadly hatred between him and Gov. 
Sevier, and each endeavored by all the means in his power to 
strengthen his party against the other. Tipton held courts un- 
der the authority of North Carolina at Buffalo, ten miles above 
Jonesborough, which were conducted by her officers and agreea- 
bly to her laws. Courts were also held at Jonesborough, in the 
same county, under the authority of the State of Frankland. As 
the processes of these courts frequently required the sheriffs to 
pass within the jurisdiction of each other to execute them, a ren- 
counter was sure to take place. Hence it became necessary to ap- 
point the stoutest men in the county to the office of sheriff. This 
state of things produced the appointment of A. Caldwell, of Jones- 
borough, and Mr. Pew, the sheriff in Tipton's court. While the 

174 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

County Court was sitting at Jonesborougli in this year, for the 
county of Washington, Col. John Tipton, with a party of men, 
entered the court-house, took away the papers from the clerk, 
and turned the justice out-of-doors. Not long after Sevier's party 
came to the house where a County Court was sitting for the coun- 
ty of Washington, under the authority of North Carolina, and 
took away the clerk's papers and turned the court out-of-doors. 
Thomas Gorly was clerk of this county. The like acts were 
several times repeated during the existence of the Franklaud 
government. At one time, James Sevier then having the rec- 
ords of the old court under North Carolina, Tipton, in behalf of 
the court of North Carolina, went to his house and took them 
away by force and delivered them to Gorly. Shortly afterward 
the records were taken by Sevier's party, and James Sevier, the 
clerk, hid them in a cave. In these removals many valuable 
papers were lost, and at late periods for want of them some es- 
tates of great value have been lost. In the county of Greene, in 
1786, Tipton broke up a court sitting at Greeneville under the 
Fraukland authority. The two clerks in all the three old coun- 
ties issued marriage licenses, and many persons were married by 
virtue of their authority. In the courts held under the author- 
ity of the State of Frankland many letters of administration of 
intestate estates were issued, and probates of wills were taken. 
The members of the two factions became excessively incensed 
against each other, and at public meetings made frequent ex- 
liibitions of their strength and prowess in boxing matches. 
As an elucidation of the temper of the times an incident may 
liere be mentioned which otherwise would be too trivial for the 
page of history. Shortly after the election of Sevier as Govern- 
or of the State of Frankland under the permanent Constitu- 
tion, he and Tipton met in Jonesborougli, where -as usual a vio- 
lent verbal altercation was maintained between them for some 
time, when Sevier, no longer able to bear the provocations which 
were given to him, struck Tipton with a cane. Instantly the 
latter began to annoy him with his hands clinched. Each ex- 
changed blows for some time in the same way with great vio- 
lence and in convulsions of rage. Those who happened to be 
present interposed and parted them before victory had de- 
clared for either; but some of those who saw the conflict be- 
lieved that the Governor was not as well pleased with his pros- 


pects of victory as he had been with the event of the battle of 
King's Mountain, in which his regiment and himself had so em- 
inently distinguished themselves. This example was followed 
in the time of those convulsions by the members of their respect- 
ive families, who frequently and with varying success took les- 
sons in pugilism from each other at public meetings. The rab- 
ble, also, who in all countries ape their superiors, made numerous 
displays of their skill in gymnastic exercises, and, like the Spar- 
tans of old, often lost an eye or part of an ear or nose in the an- 
tagonistic field without the least complaint for the trifling muti- 
lation. To such excess was driven by civil discord a people who 
in times of tranquillity are not exceeded by any upon earth for all 
the virtues, good sense, and genuine politeness that can make 
mankind happy or amiable. 

In the month of August, 1786, an election was held at the Syc- 
amore Shoals, in the county of Washington, of members to rep- 
resent the county in the General Assembly of North Carolina, to 
be held at Fayetteville in November. Col. Tipton was elected 
Senator, and James Stuart and Kichard White were elected 
members of the House of Commons. At this election such per- 
sons as chose to accept the terms held out by North Carolina 
in her act of 1785 were invited to signify the same by enrolling 
their names, which many of them did. Opposition to the new 
State of Frankland from this time put on a more solemn and 
determined aspect than it had ever done before. 

On the 26th of August, 1786, John Houston, Esq., the Gov- 
ernor of Georgia, appointed Gov. Sevier by commission to 
be Brigadier-general for the District of Tennessee, formed for 
the defense of that State and for repelling any hostile inva- 

Preparatory to the treaty of Hopewell, which the Cherokees 
made with the United States, they refrained in a great measure, 
both before and for some time after the treaty, from incursions 
into the frontier settlements on the waters of the Holston. That 
treaty proposed to give peace to all the Cherokees, but they soon 
began to believe that the gift which they had received was not 
of much value, and shortly became tired of the quietude derived 
from it. In the spring of the year 1786 they made open war 
upoh those settlements. They attacked the house of Biram, on 
Beaver Creek, in the section of country w'hich is now a part of 


Knox County, and killed two men. Several parties were raised 
and set in pursuit o£ them. Among others, Gov. Sevier raised 
a company of volunteers and followed them. The troops assem- 
bled at Houston's Station, and marched across the Tennessee 
Eiver at the Island Town, and thence crossed by the Tellico 
Plains over the Unaca Mountain to the Hiwassee. They there 
destroyed three Indian towns called the Valley Towns, and killed 
fifteen Indians and encamped in a town in the vicinity. The 
spies discovered a large trail, and reported to the commanding 
officers. The troops were immediately put in motion and moved 
to the place where the trail was discovered. There a council of 
the officers was held to determine whether it was proper to fol-_ 
low the trail or not. The result was that the troops were 
marclied back to their former encampment. It was ascertained 
from the best information that John Watts, at the head of one 
thousand Indians, was endeavoring to draw Sevier and his troops 
into a narrow defile of rocks. Considering existing circumstances, 
it was thought most prudent to return home with his troops, and 
to procure re-enforcements, his corps consisting at this time of 
not more than one hundred and sixty men. They returned 
home by the same route they had come. 

In this year taxes were imposed by both governments, and 
paid to neither, the people not knowing, as was pretended, which 
had the better right to receive them; and neither government 
was forward in overruling the plea, for fear of giving offense to 
those who could at pleasure transfer their allegiance. 

Members of the Assembly were elected in this year, 1786, for 
the three old counties, and were sent to the Assembly of North 
Carolina, which sat at Fayetteville in the month of November. 
In this session they divided the county of Sallivan, and out of 
a part of it erected the county of Hawkins. The divisional line 
began where the boundary line between the Commonwealth of 
Virginia and the State of North Carolina crosses the North 
Fork of the Holston River; thence down said fork to its junction 
with the main Holston River; thence across said river, due south 
to the top of Bay's Mountain; thence along the top of said mount- 
ain to the top of the dividing ridge between the waters of the 
Holston River and the French Broad River to its junction with 
the Holston River; thence down the said river Holston to its 
junction with the Tennessee River; thence down the same to the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 177 

"Snt'k," where said river runs through the Cumberland Mount- 
ains; thence along the top of said mountains to the aforesaid 
boundary line; and thence along said line to the beginning. 
All that part of the settlements lying to the west of the North 
Fork of the Holston was erected into the county of Hawkins. 
They appointed justices and militia officers for the county, and 
appointed times for holding the County Courts; and they had 
under consideration the measures which were to be adopted in 
relation to the revolters. 

At this critical conjuncture appeared William Cocke, Esq., on 
a mission from the western counties; and, at his entreaty, he was 
heard at the bar of the House of Commons. In a speech of 
some hours he pathetically depicted the miseries of his dis- 
tressed countrymen; he traced the motives of their sej)aration 
to the difficult and perilous condition in which they had been 
placed by the cession act of 1784. He stated that the savages 
in their neighborhood often committed upon the defenseless in- 
habitants the most shocking barbarities, and that they were 
without the means of raising or subsisting troops for their pro- 
tection, without the authority to levy men, without the power 
to lay taxes for the support of internal government, and with- 
out the hope that any of their necessary expenditures would be 
defrayed by the State of North Carolina, which had then be- 
come no more interested in their safety than any other of the 
United States. The sovereignty retained being precarious and 
nominal, as it depended on the acceptance of the cession by 
Congress, so it was anticipated, would be the concern of North 
Carolina for the ceded territory. With these considerations 
full in view, what were the people of the ceded territory to do to 
avoid the blow of the uplifted tomahawk? How were the wom- 
en and children to be rescued from the impending destruction? 
Would Congress come to their aid? Alas! Congress had not 
yet accepted them, and possibly never would; and if accept- 
ed, Congress was to deliberate on the quantum of defense which 
might be affi^rded to them. The distant States would wish to 
know what profits they could respectively draw from the ceded 
country, and how much land would remain after satisfying the 
claims upon it. The contributions from the several States were 
to be spontaneous. They might be too limited to do any good, 
too tardy for practical purposes. They might be unwilling to 


burden themselves for* the salvation of a people not connected 
with them by any endearing ties. The powers of Congress were 
too feeble to enforce contributions. Whatever aids should be , 
resolved on might not reach the objects of their bounty till all 
was lost. Would common prudence justify a reliance upon such 
prospects? Could the lives of themselves and their families be 
staked upon them? Immediate and pressing necessity called 
for the powers to concentrate the scanty means they possessed 
of saving themselves from destruction. A cruel and insidious 
foe was at their doors. Delay was but another name for death. 
They might supinely wait for events, but the first of them would 
be the yell of the savage through all their settlements. It was 
the well-known disposition of the savage to take every advantage 
of an unpreparedness to receive them, and of a sudden to raise 
the shrieking cry of exultation over the fallen inhabitants. The 
hearts of the people of North Carolina should not be hardened 
against their brethren who have stood by their sides in perilous 
times, and never heard their cry of distress when they did not 
instantly rise and march to their aid. Those brethren have bled 
in profusion to save you from bondage, and from the sanguinary 
hand of a relentless enemy, whose mildest laws for the punisli- 
ment of rebellion is beheading and quartering. When driven, 
in the late war, by the presence of that enemy from your homes, 
we gave to many of you a sanctified asylum in the bosom of our 
country, and gladly performed the rites of hosj)itality to a peo- 
ple we loved so dearly. Every hand was ready to be raised for 
the least unhallowed violation of the sanctuaiy in which they 
reposed. The act for our dismissal was indeed recalled in the 
winter of 1784 What then was our condition? More penni- 
less, defenseless, and unprepared, if possible, than before; and 
under the same necessity as ever to meet and consult together 
for our common safety. The resources of the country all locked 
up — where is the record that shows any money or supplies sent 
to us, a single soldier ordered to be stationed on the frontier, or 
any plan formed for mitigating the horrors of our exposed situ- 
ation? On the contrary, the savages are irritated by the stop- 
page of those goods on their passage which were promised as a 
compensation for the lands which had been taken from them. 
If North Carolina must yet hold us in subjection, it should at 
least be understood to what a state of distraction, suffering, and 


poverty lier varying conduct has reduced us; and the liberal hand 
of generosity should be widely opened for relief, from the press- 
ure of their present circumstances — all animosity should be laid 
aside and buried in deep oblivion, and our errors should be con- 
sidered as the offspring of greater errors committed by your- 
selves. It belongs to a magnanimous people to weep over the 
failings of their unfortunate children, especially if prompted by 
the inconsiderate behavior of the parent. Far should it be from 
their hearts to harbor the unnatural purpose of adding still 
more affliction to those who have suffered but too much already. 
It belongs to a magnanimous people to give an industrious at- 
tention to circumstances, in order to form a just judgment upon 
a subject so much deserving of their serious meditation; and, 
when once carefully formed, to employ with sedulous anxiety 
the best efforts of their purest wisdom in choosing a course to 
pursue suitable to the dignity of their own character, consistent 
with their own honor, and the best calculated to allay that 
storm of distraction in which their hapless children have been 
so unexpectedly involved. If the mother shall judge the ex- 
pense of adhesion too heavy to be borne, let us remain as we 
are, and support ourselves by our own exertions; if otherwise, 
let the means for the continuance of our connection be supplied 
with the degree of liberality which will demonstrate seriousness 
on the one hand and secure affection on the other. His speech 
was heard with attention, and he retired. 

The Assembly progressed in deliberating on the measures to 
be adopted with respect to the revolted counties. By another 
act of thi§ session they pardoned the offenses of all persons who 
had returned to their allegiance to the State of North Carolina; 
and restored them to all privileges of the other citizens of the 
State, as if the said offenses and misconduct had never existed. 
With regard to decisions respecting property, which were in- 
compatible with justice, they enacted that the persons injured 
should have remedy at common law. They continued in office 
all officers, both civil and military, who held and enjoyed such 
offices on the 1st of April, 1784; but declared vacant the offices 
01 all such persons as had accepted and exercised other offices 
and appointments the acceptance and exercise of which were 
considered to be a resignation of their former offices held under 
the State of North- Carolina; and they directed that such vacant 

180 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

offices, both civil and military, shall be filled Avith proper per- 
sons, to be appointed by the General Assembly, and commis- 
sioned by the Governor of North Carolina, as by law directed. 
They ordered the arrearages of taxes due from the citizens of 
those counties, up to the end of the year 1784, to be collected 
and accounted for; and that all taxes due since the end of that 
year shall be relinquished and given up to the citizens. 

Measui'es conceived in so much moderation, and breathing 
nothing but benignity, could not fail to make the wished-for im- 
pression upon those whom they affected. The Assembly of 
North Carolina directed that the first court for the county of 
Washington should be held at William Davis's, on Buffalo 
Creek, ten miles from Jonesborough. Commissioners were ap- 
pointed to fix on some suitable place on which to erect the pub- 
lic buildings and to fix the seat of justice for this county. Aft- 
er various meeting aad consultations, they finally agreed 
upon Jonesborough as the proper place. The County Court bad 
been held there for several years before, until the courts them- 
selves were discontinued by the intrusion of the new govern- 
ment of Frankland. A year before this period, County Courts 
were held at Davis's under the authority of North Carolina; 
whilst at the same time courts were held at Jonesborough un- 
der the government of Frankland. The partisans of each gov- 
ernment quarreled with those of the other. Tipton and Sevier 
both resided in the county of Washington, and, being the leaders 
of different sides, kept the people in a continual agitation and 
uproar, each alternately breaking up the courts of the other. 

Here it is right to remember, in justice to those who once ap- 
peared on the side of the new government and now on the side 
of North Carolina, that the face of affairs was quite different at 
the time of the convention of Frankland, which resolved upon 
independence, and in the fall of the year 1786. Before this 
juncture there was no governmental head to which the people of 
the western counties could carry their complaints. In 1784, it 
is true, the Assembly which passed the cession act retained the 
sovereignty and jurisdiction of North Carolina in and over the 
ceded territory and all the inhabitants thereof, until the United 
States, in Congress, should have accepted the cession, as if the 
act for making it had never been passed. Yet, in reality, so 
long as the cession act continued unrepealed. North Carolina 


felt herself as much estranged from the inhabitants of the west- 
ern counties as she was with respect to any other State or Terri- 
tory in the United States. Until induced by the bonds of fed- 
eralism and a common interest, so far as concerned their external 
relations with other nations of the globe, but wholly unconnect- 
ed, so far as regarded their internal relations and engagements, 
and as any one State was not obliged, by the nature of her fed- 
eral duties, to advance moneys for the maintenance of another 
in the possession of her rights, but through the intervention of 
all, in Congress assembled; so neither did North Carolina con- 
ceive herself bound to exert her strength or resources for the 
defense of the western counties, unless in the proportion for 
which she was liable to other federal contributions. It wa,s in 
vain, then, to solicit for her interference in behalf of the western 
counties so long as the cession act subsisted; but when that was 
repealed and the precipitancy of the western people obliterated, 
when North Carolina declared herself desirous to extend to them 
the benefits of civil government, whence it might be rationally 
inferred that every necessary and proper support would be af- 
forded, it certainly cannot be a matter of surprise that many 
well-meaning and intelligent persons, believing their declara- 
tions, thenceforward deemed it their duty to return to their de- 
pendence on North Carolina. If there be any competent reason 
which should have precluded Col. Tipton and his associates 
from the adoption of the course they took, it must be confessed 
that it is not very obvious; at the same time others are not to be 
blamed who reflected upon the past conduct of North Carolina 
and the unpromising circumstances in which she stood in rela- 
tion to the western counties should come to the conclusion that 
no real and solid advantages were to be expected from further 
connection with her, for perhaps this was the opinion which 
every experienced politician should have formed. 

The fate of the State of Frankland was imperceptibly hasten- 
ing to a crisis. Every day she sustained the loss of some friend, 
who by an accession to the cause of her adversaries added to 
their strength and confidence. Those who stood firm were yet 
respectable for numbers, and satisfied beyond doubt of the cor- 
rectness of their opinion. They formed an impenetrable pha- 
lanx which a change of sentiment was not likely to dissolve or 
impair for the future. 

182 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

The year 1786 closed and that of 1787 opened with the melan- 
choly prospects that fellow- citizens and neighbors might, ere- 
long, be engaged in spilling the blood of each other. Gov. Se- 
vier, aware that the government of Frankland would soon be in a 
tottering situation, endeavored by the utmost assiduity to procure 
props for it in every quarter whence it was imagined they might 
be possibly furnished. At his suggestion the Assembly of 
Frankland had professed a readiness to join the arms of their 
State to those of Georgia in prosecution of a war against the 
Creeks, should the conduct of the latter make it necessary. The 
Governor, in the latter part of January, 1784, had dispatched 
Maj. Elholm, a man of address and skill in the management of 
business, to the executive of that State with these tokens of 
friendship, and with sealed instructions to attach to the inter- 
ests of the State of Frankland as many of the leading men of 
Georgia as could, by proper representations, be inspired with a 
disposition to wish for the prosperity of the new government. 
So well did Maj, Elholm conduct the affairs which were com- 
mitted to his charge that he caused them to be made a subject 
of legislative deliberation, and to be reported on by a commit- 
tee on the 3d of February, 1787, in which it was stated that the 
letters from John Sevier, Esq., evinced a disposition which ought 
not to be unregarded by the State, particularly with respect to 
the intention of the people of Nolichuchy to co-operate with 
those of Georgia in case of Indian hostilities, as the late alarms 
indicated, and it recommended that his Honor, the Governor, 
inform the Hon. John Sevier, Esq., of the sense which Georgia 
entertained of their friendly intentions to aid in the adjustment 
of all matters in dispute between the people of Georgia and the 
hostile tribes of Indians who were inimical to that State. It de- 
clared that Maj. Elholm, who had been so particularly recom- 
mended, was entitled to the thanks of the Legislature, and that 
a sum of money be drawn from the treasury for his use by a 
warrant to be issued by the government. Gov. Matthews on the 
12th of February communicated to the Hon. John Sevier, Esq., 
the gratitude of the Assembly for the instances of his friendship 
which had been laid before them, and said he should feel him- 
self guilty of ingratitude, should it ever be in his power, not to 
render the Governor or his people every service that may not be 
inconsistent with the interests of the State of Georgia. The 


salvo at tlie end was a genuine exemplification of political sen- 
sation for proffered friendship, which is always supposed to 
have some selfish design at the bottom; and, indeed, if the facts 
were otherwise in the present instance, and if the ofiPers really 
sprung from a principle of pure good-will to the people of 
Georgia, this cold answer must be considered as very unfit for 
the occasion. Gov. Sevier also had made the attempt to concil- 
liate the favor of Dr. Franklin, whose advice he had asked on 
the affairs of the new government. The Doctor, on the 30th of 
June, 1787, acknowledged himself sensible of the honor which, 
said he, your Excellency and your council thereby do me. But 
being in Europe when your State was formed, I am too little ac- 
quainted with the circumstances to be able to offer you any 
thing just now that may be of importance, since every thing 
material that regards your welfare will doubtless have occurred 
to yourselves. There are two things which humanity induces 
me to wish you may succeed in: the accommodating your mis- 
understanding with the government of North Carolina, and the 
avoiding an Indian war by preventing encroachments on their 
lands. Such encroachments are the more unjustifiable, as these 
people in the fair way of purchase, usually give very good bar- 
gains, and in one year's war with them you may suffer a loss 
of property and be put to an expense vastly exceeding in value 
what would have contented them perfectly in fairly buying 
the lands they can spare. Here (at Philadelphia) is one of 
their people who was going to Congress with a complaint 
from the chief of the Cherokees that the North Carolinians 
on the one side, and the people of yoar State on the other, 
encroach on them daily. The Congress not being now sit- 
ting, he is going back, apparently dissatisfied that our general 
government is not just now in a situation to render them justice, 
which may tend to increase ill-humor in that nation. I have no 
doubt of the good disposition of your government to prevent 
their receiving such injuries; but I know the strongest govern- 
ments are hardly able to restrain the disorderly people who are 
generally on the frontiers, from excesses of various kinds, and 
possibly yours has not as yet acquired sufficient strength for 
that purpose. It may be well, however, to acquaint those en- 
croachers that the Congress will not justify them in the breach 
of a solemn treaty, and that if they bring upon themselves an 

184 hayayood's histoky of Tennessee. 

Indian war they will not be supported in it. I will endeavor to in- 
form myself more perfectly of your affairs by inquiry and search- 
ing the records of Congress, and if any thing should occur to 
me that I think may be useful to you, you shall hear from me 
thereupon. I conclude with repeating my wish, that you may 
amicably settle your differences with North Carolina. The in- 
convenience to your people attending so remote a seat of gov- 
ernment, and the difficulty to that government in ruling well so 
remote a people would, I think, be powerful inducements to it to 
accede to any fair and reasonable proposition it may receive 
from' you if the cession act had now passed. 

The Governor in all these communications might plainly see 
both realized and personified the fable of the hare and many 
friends. But he had a persevering temper, and no ' idea of re- 
ceding had as yet entered his mind. He again wrote to the 
Governor of Georgia, by Maj. Elholm, and on the 20th of July 
in council it was ordered, upon consideration of his letter of the 
20tli of June, that the Board entertained a high sense of the 
friendly intentions of the people of Frankland, and wished to 
continue the correspondence between the Hon. John Sevier, 
Esq., and that State, and ordered that this letter be laid before 
the Legislature. On the 7th of August they used more perspi- 
cuity, and ordered an express to be sent to the Hon. John Se- 
vier, Esq., informing him of the present situation of this State 
with the Indians, and that he be requested by his Honor, the 
Governor, to take such measures as may be conducive to the 
safety of both people. Gen. Clarke professed that he would be 
very happy to be of any service to the State of Frankland con- 
sistent with the interests of Georgia, and in case of a Creek war 
would meet him and his army with pleasure in the Creek Na- 
tion. It was apparent that the Georgians were willing that the 
Governor should fight for them if needful ; but as to any assist- 
ance to be furnished by them to the government of Frankland, 
it seemed to be a question so far in the background at present 
as would not be likely in any short time to receive an unequiv- 
ocal answer. Gov. Matthews believed that his State wished 
to render the people of Frankland every service in its power not 
inconsistent with its duty to the United States, expected a war with 
the Creeks and that the people of Georgia would be joined by 
those from the State of Frankland. Others of the leading men of 

HAYAYOOD's history of TENNESSEE. 185 

Georgia, who were in less responsible situations, spoke with more 
warmth in faYorof the State of Frankland; commended their zeal 
in the cause of liberty and their fidelity to each other; commended 
also the resolution of the Assembly, which had determined not to 
send a delegation to North Carolina, as had been pressed; spoke 
in very obliging terms of the zeal and capacity displayed by 
Maj. Elholm for the station he had been selected to fill, and also 
for the judicious discernment which had fixed upon him as the 
subject of its choice. The Council of Georgia received him as 
a man of distinction and gave him a seat in the Council whilst 
the dispatches of Gov. Sevier were under consideration. He as- 
sociated with the best characters in Georgia, and upon every 
good opportunity stated the warlike temper, the devotion to lib- 
erty of the Western people, and the fertility and beauty of their 
country, placing them in the most advantageous lights; till at 
length he succeeded with many of them in the engagement of 
their partialities in favor of his principles. The late Gov. Tel- 
fair addressed Gov. Sevier in the character of Governor of the 
State of Frankland; spoke highly of the ardor of Maj. Elholm 
in the service of the State of Frankland; made acknowledgment 
for the confidence reposed in him respecting the State of Frank- 
land; and gave au assurance, as far as was consistent with poli- 
cy and mutual interests and the duties which he owed to Geor- 
gia, that she should be the object of his care and attention. 
Fishburne, Col, Walton, and other distinguished characters 
made professions of their esteem for Gov. Sevier, and of their 
good wishes for the new State of Frankland. The* Cincinnati 
Society adopted him as a member, and communicated the same 
to him in a very flattering letter. Col. Walton presented him 
with the thirteen Constitutions, neatly bound together, with a 
complimentary address, conceived in very neat and delicate 

In Georgia the people began to feel themselves interested in 
the success of the government of Frankland. A common toast 
then was: "Success to the State of Frankland, his excellency 
Gov. Sevier, and his virtuous citizens." On the 5th of Novem- 
ber, 1787, the late Gov. Matthews, in council and in behalf of 
the supreme power of the State of Georgia, presented to Maj. 
Elholm his warmest thanks for the assiduity of Maj. Elholm, 
and for the due attention that he had paid mutually to the State 

186 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

of Georgia and the people of Frankland. "Impressed deeply 
as we are," he said, "for the welfare of all those who have had 
independence enough to free themselves from British usurpa- 
tion, we cannot but be mindful of the good people of Frankland, 
and hope that erelong the interests of both will be sincerely and 
lastingly cemented. In respect to the policy of nations or coun- 
tries, one general observation may not be amiss: that those who 
strictly adhere to any constitution or principles agreed upon 
and solemnly entered into, and who do not commit any infringe- 
ment upon the principles and rights of the people, deserve to be 
respected. And as such appears to be the present disposition 
of the Franks, we are happy in the opportunity of testifying our 
approbation of their conduct in respect to the State of Georgia, 
When we last had the pleasure to receive a communication from 
the Hon. John Sevier, whom we respect, he informed us that 
the people of Frankland were met for deliberation, and that he 
would transmit us the result as soon as they should rise. As 
this communication has not yet arrived, we are at a loss to re- 
turn any answer thereto; but shall embrace the earliest oppor- 
tunity to do so, when we are favored therewith. I am directed, 
too, to request your particular attention to our very serious sit- 
uation, and beg leave at the same time that it may be communi- 
cated through you to the people of Frankland. We have neces- 
sarily entered into a war with the Creek Indians, and for the 
expelling of whom the Legislature of this State has passed a law, 
entitled 'An act for suppressing the violence of the Indians,' a 
copy of which you carry with you. You will there find that we 
have not been unmindful of your situation. It is now wdthin 
the power of the jDcople of Frankland to render very essential 
services to the people of this State, and from the very generous 
and liberal offer proffered us, we are confident that we shall re- 
ceive every assistance." 

Late in December, 1787, Gov. Sevier had it in contemplation 
to march against the Creeks, and issued orders for the embody- 
ing of troops. He continued to be addressed at this time by 
Dr. Franklin as the Governor of the State of Frankland. The 
above-mentioned act, passed by the Legislature of Georgia, di- 
rected the raising of three thousand men, and empowered the 
executive to call for fifteen hundred more from Frankland; and 
the Governor wished to know whether it might be depended 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 187 

upon that fifteen hundred would be raised in Frankland, and at 
what time they would be ready to take the field. The bend of 
the Tennessee was allotted for the men to be raised in Frankland, 
and to supply the bounties to be given to them for entering into 
the service. 

In the month of September, in the year 1787, the Legislature 
of Frankland met for the last time, in Greeneville. John Men- 
ifee was Speaker of the House of Eepresentatives, and Charles 
Robinson Speaker of the Senate. Several bills passed both 
Houses, which were chiefly unimportant amendments of the laws 
of North Carolina. One, however, attracted notice, the object 
of which was to provide ways and means to descend the river 
and take possession of the bend of the Tennessee, under claims 
which Gov. Sevier and others had on this country. The Legis- 
lature also authorized the election of two representatives to at- 
tend the Legislature of North Carolina, to make such represen- 
tations as might be thought proper. Jiidge David Campbell 
and Landon Carter were elected to this office. Judge Campbell 
also acted in the Legislature of North Carolina, at Tarborough, 
as a member of that Assembly. 

At this session they also opened the land office, directing the 
officers to take peltry instead of money, but before any entries 
were made the authority of the government of Frankland ex- 

The western counties, at the stated time of election in this 
year (1787), elected members and sent them to the General As- 
sembly of North Carolina at Tarborough, which commenced a 
session there on the 18th of November that ended on the 22d of 
December. Davidson sent James Robertson and Robert Hays ; 
Greene was represented by David Campbell and Daniel Kenne- 
dy; Washington, by John Tij)ton, James Stuart, and John Blair; 
Hawkins, by Nathaniel Henderson and William Marshall; Sul- 
livan, by Joseph Martin, John Scott, and George Maxwell. 
These members returned home about the 4th of January, 1788. 
This Assembly extended their former acts of pardon and obliv- 
ion to all who desired to avail themselves of their advantages, and 
fully restored them to the privileges of citizens. They directed 
all suits to be dismissed which had been commenced for the re- 
covery of any penalty or forfeiture incurred by a non-compli- 
ance with the revenue laws; and gave a further time of three 

188 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

months, in which those might give in lists of their taxable prop- 
erty for the year 1787, who had failed to do it before. By this 
Assembly David Campbell was elected a judge of the Superior 
Court for the District of Washington, at Jonesborough. CoL 
White (afterward Gen. White), who favored the government of 
Frankland, whose yea was yea and nay, nay, throughout his 
whole life, deemed the acceptance of this office by Campbell an 
unpardonable dereliction of duty. Meeting Campbell on the 
road as he returned home from Tarborough, he upbraided the 
latter with the desertion of his friends in very undisguised terms 
of reprobation. 

In the year 1787 East Tennessee, though miserably entangled 
in other difficulties, was not entirely free from the inquietude of 
some restless spirits in relation to the Spaniards any more than 
West Tennessee was in 1783, when Col. Robertson was necessi- 
tated to contradict the reports which had reached the Baron de 
Carondalet of designs entertained by the people of Cumberland 
to make a descent upon the Spanish possessions on the Missis- 
sippi. Some ambitious men in East Tennessee had probably 
proposed and canvassed the same project, and had deemed it so 
far practicable as to resolve on its execution, so far as depended 
on themselves to bring it about. They resented the occlusion of 
the Mississippi against our commerce by the Spanish authorities, 
and were exasperated by the proposal of our minister delegated 
to treat with the Spanish court that the navigation of that river 
should be resigned for twenty-five years; and the more so, as 
Congress had made the proposal a subject for deliberation. 
The treaty made in 1784 in the fort at Pensacola, from the un- 
common nature of some of the articles, induced the belief that 
the Spanish Governors had great influence over the Creeks and 
encouraged them in that inimical temper and those animosities 
which of late, and indeed almost ever since the date of that 
treaty, they had evinced toward the people of Cumberland; and 
considerable resentment was entertained on this account by 
many persons on the western waters against the Spaniards be- 
low them. The members from Cumberland, in the Legislature 
of North Carolina, had spoken in their memorial to the Assem- 
bly at Tarborough in 1787 in terms of bitterness against the un- 
friendly conduct of the Spaniards. At this conjunctui-e a letter 
came to the hands of the general government, written in the same 

Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 189 

spirit, but in more undisguised and eniphatical terms, wliich 
seemed to point unequivocally to machinations, devised and in- 
tended to be acted upon by the people of "the new government 
of Frankland. This letter, written on the 2-4tli of September, 
1787, by John Sullivan, at Charleston, was addressed to Maj. 
William Brown, late of Maryland artillery, Philadelphia. 
Speaking of the Tennessee Kiver, he said: "There will be work 
cut out for you in that country. I want you much. Take my 
word for it, we shall be speedily in possession of New Orleans." 
Unauthenticated publications had stated that the people of 
Kentucky and Cumberland had held consultations, in the sum- 
mer of 1787, concerning the practicability of seizing both 
Natches and Orleans. Gen. Harmar was immediately direct- 
ed by the War Office to make the strictest inquiry upon the 
subject of this letter, and to give every possible discountenance 
to the instigators. The government was justly alarmed for the 
fate of our negotiations pending with Spain, which might ulti- 
timately be broken off should any such attempt be made as was 
intimated by the letter. Inquiry was also made at the War Of- 
fice of those who came directly from Frankland, who gave assur- 
ances that no such plans were on foot as the letter suggested. 
Eventually the public agents failed in detecting the conspiracy 
to which the letter referred. The contrivers of the plan were 
probably too few in number and too destitute of funds to 
come to an open avowal of their purposes. Upon a nearer ap- 
proach to the object, they began, perhaps, to view it as less at- 
tainable than their heated imaginations had at first conceived, 
and in the end preferred to bury it in concealment rather than 
incur the ridicule of offering for public adoption a plan so pre- 
posterous and impracticable. The people of the State of Frank- 
land were split into contending factions, were poor and galled 
under the evils which their divisions created. How was it pos- 
sible that any effectual efforts could be made by them for the 
annoyance of the Spanish possessions? After the fall of the 
Frankland government a different spirit prevailed for some 
time. In place of a disposition to encourage resentment against 
Spanish provocations, there grew up in some parts of the west- 
tern territory a temper of conciliation toward them which, run- 
ning in a contrary current, held the Spaniards up to view as 
those who might in time become the allies and protectors of the 

100 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

western settlements. Five or six years afterward this current 
shifted; and, at the invitation of Genet, some of the people of 
Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia were 
zealous in the plan for invading the Spanish territory. The 
government of the United States, with much difficulty, was able 
to suppress this mania. Had any of all these plans been put 
into execution, the consequences would have been ruinous to the 
people of the western country. The only wise course was that 
which the government pursued. It has equaled by its success 
the most sanguine expectations, and should serve as a lesson to 
all our citizens to wait in future difficulties with patience upon 
the operations of the government, which, though they may be 
taxed with tardiness, are yet conducted with a view to surround- 
ing circumstances, and by one steady course of policy which 
perseverance seldom fails to render effectual. 

Upon the return of the members of the Assembly from Tar- 
borough in the early part of February, 1788, it was soon under- 
stood that North Carolina would not come into the views of 
those who favored the establishment of the Frankland govern- 
ment, and a storm was blown up. A fieri facias had been issued 
in the latter part of the year 1787, and had been placed in the 
hands of the sheriff to be executed against the estate of Gov. 
Sevier in the early part of 1788. The sheriff, acting under the 
authority of North Carolina, by virtue thereof, seized all or the 
greater part of Gov. Sevier's negroes to satisfy it, and removed 
them for safe-keeping from his farm on the Nolichucky Eiver 
to the house of Col. Tipton. Sevier was at this time on the 
frontier of Greene County devising means for defending the in- 
habitants against the incursion of the Indians, whose conduct 
of late had given room for the apprehension of a formal renewal 
of hostilities. Having heard of the seizure of his negroes by 
virtue of an unlawful precept, as he deemed it, and by an officer 
not legally constituted, he resolved immediately to suppress all 
opposition to the new government of Frankland, and to punish 
the actors for their audacity. He raised one hundred and fifty 
men, princijjally in Greene County, but partly in Sevier and 
what is now called Blount, and marched directly to Tipton's 
house, near to which he arrived in the afternoon. Not more 
than fifteen men of Tipton's party were then with him. Sevier 
halted his troops two or three hundred yards from the house, on 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 191 

a sunken piece of ground, where they were covered from annoy- 
ance by those in the house. Sevier was also incited to action 
by another incident. Tipton, it was said, in order to get posses- 
sion of his person, had collected a party of his adherents some 
time before, and had sent them off with orders to make Sevier a 
prisoner. The latter happened to be on the frontier, and Tip- 
ton's emissaries missed their aim. When Sevier came home 
and was informed of this attempt, he burned with indignation 
at the ingratitude of it, and at the unrelenting temper which he 
considered to have prompted it. Hence he received an addi- 
tional motive to action, and resolved in turn to look for the Saul 
who searched for him in all the dens and hiding-places of the 
country. Tipton had gained some intimation of Sevier's de- 
signs, and had but just time to call for the aid of fifteen of his 
friends, who were with him at the time of Sevier's arrival. With 
them he kept possession of his house, and barricaded it against 
the expected assault as well as he could; and, with undismayed 
steadiness, waited the arrival of the Governor. The house of 
Col. Tipton was on Sinking Creek of the Watauga Kiver, eight 
or ten miles east of Jonesborough. The Governor was not dil- 
atory in making his appearance. He presented himself and his 
troops, with a small piece of ordnance, and took post in front of 
the house. He demanded the unconditional surrender of Tip- 
ton and of all who were with him in the house. Tipton, with 
the earnest language which he sometimes employed on emer- 
gent occasions, sent word to him to "fire and be damned." He 
sent to Tipton a written summons. This, with a letter calling 
for assistance, Tipton immediately sent to jCoI. Maxwell, of Sul- 
livan, who was commandant of militia in that county, and a 
Representative of the county in the General Assembly of North 
Carolina. For some time Tipton would not permit any commu- 
nication with Sevier. Early the next day, however, he consent- 
ed that Robert Love, Esq., one of the fifteen who had come to 
his assistance, might correspond with him. Mr. Love wrote to 
him through the medium of his own flag, and directed his letter 
to Col. Sevier. In reply, it was said that Col. Sevier was not in 
camp, alluding to Valentine Sevier, a brother of the Governor, 
who bore the title of colonel. Mr. Love answered them, and 
strongly recommended to the troops to withdrav/ and disband 
themselves, which he said would enable those who supported 


the govenimeiit of North Carolina to countermand the orders 
for levying troops in Sullivan County and other places. The 
reply made to this recommendation was that Gov. Sevier could 
countermand the orders for their march. Here the correspond-: 
ence ended. A few of the most influential persons then with 
Tipton were sent out to collect re-enforcements from the neigh- 
borhood, and from the settlements above. Two or three were 
also sent to Sullivan County for the same purpose. On the 
next day a few men joined Tipton; and in the course of the day 
a woman coming to the house on some occasion, in company 
with another woman, was shot in the shoulder. Some of Se- 
vier's troops occupied an eminence of limestone rocks within 
shooting distance of the house, and from that quarter the wom- 
an was wounded. On the next night Mr. Robert Love went out 
with one man for the purpose of getting aid from the quarter of 
the country where he resided. On his way home he met his 
brother, Thomas (now Gen. Love), with ten or twelve men go- 
ing to join Tipton, whom he informed of the guard at the emi- 
nence of rocks, which lay near the road that led to the house. 
Mr. Thomas Love, before it was light, approached to the rocks 
on a prancing horse, himself hemming and coughing. Not 
being hailed, he went to the rocks at which the guard had been 
stationed, and found that the whole guard was absent. The 
weather being excessively cold, they had retired to the main 
body to warm themselves by their fires. Mr. Thomas Love re- 
turned to his companions, and informed them of the absence of 
the guard from their post, whereupon, raising a whoop, they 
went in full gallop to Tipton's house, and by their junction with 
the besieged infused fresh vigor into their resolutions. 

Elholm, second in command to the Governor, in order to make 
short work and to escape from the danger of delay, proposed the 
erection of a light, movable battery, under the cover of which 
the troops might safely advance to the walls of the house. In 
the meantime, those coming in and going out of the house of 
Tipton were fired upon, and one whose name was Webb v>-as 
killed; another, whose name was Vaun, was wounded in the arm. 
Maxwell with all possible expedition raised one hundred and 
eighty men, and, marching with them, he had halted at Dungan's 
Mill, and had staid there in the forepart of the night, till he could 
have just time to reach the camp of Sevier by morning. While 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 193 

they were lying tliere Sevier's scouts came within a mile of tliem, 
and, not discovering any advancing enemy, returned to their 
main body. The night was cloudy and dark, and on the morn- 
ing of the 3d of February, just after day-break, which was tlie 
time of the attack made by Sevier, the snow poured down as fast 
as it could fall from the clouds. Sevier had placed in the road 
leading from Sullivan County by the place of his encampment 
sentinels to watch the approach of the re-enforcements to Tip- 
ton which were expected from Sullivan. The cold weather was 
so extreme that it had forced them into camp to warm them- 
selves for a few minutes. Maxwell and Pemberton advanced 
cautiously, with their men well formed in a line, within gunshot 
of Sevier's camp, having passed the spot Avhere the sentinels 
were stationed unobserved. Here they awaited the approach of 
day-light. As soon as objects had become visible, the snow fall- 
ing and Sevier's men advancing to the attack of the house, the 
troops under Maxwell fired a volley and raised a shout which 
seemed to reach the heavens, and communicated to Tipton and his 
men in the house that deliverance was at hand. From the house 
they re-echoed the shout, and instantly sallied out upon the be- 
siegers. In the midst of these loud rejoicings a tremor seized the 
dismayed troops of Sevier, and they fled in all directions through: 
every avenue that promised escape from the victors. Tipton and 
Maxwell did not follow them more than two hundred yards. 
Within one hour afterward Sevier sent in Robert Young with 
a flag, proposing terms of accommodation. They left in their 
flight, to be taken by the victors, the small piece of ordnance 
which Sevier had caused to be planted upon a battery. Pugh, 
the high sheriff of Washington County, was mortally wounded.. 
Divers persons were made prisoners who belonged to Sevier's 
corps, and among them two sons of Sevier — James and John. 
Tipton forthwith determined to hang both of them. Apprised 
of the rash step which he intended to take, the young men sent 
for Mr. Thomas Love and otliers of Tipton's party, with whom 
they had a good understanding, and solicited their intercession 
with Tipton. These persons went directly to him, and repre- 
sented in strong terms the rashness, illegality, and impolicy of 
the intended execution. They urged their arguments so effect- 
ually that with tears flowing down his cheeks at the mention of 
his own sons, supposing them to be in the possession of Sevier, 

194 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

about to be executed by him for offenses imputed to the father, 
he pronounced himself too womanish for any manly office, and 
desisted from his purpose. Shortly afterward he restored them 
to their liberty and they returned home, Mr. Robert Love be- 
coming surety for their appearance when called for, and for 
their future good behavior. Had the father been a prisoner, it 
was believed that no entreaty from any quarter could have saved 
him from destruction. With this battle the government of 
Frankland came to an end. Ever since the latter part of the 
year 1785 it had experienced those shocks which a disputed le- 
gitimacy of power never fails to beget. A sudden calm took 
place, and the remains of the late disorders became in a short 
time forgotten and imperceptible. Sevier withdrew from the 
pursuit of those who sought for him into the frontiers, and 
there opened a campaign against the Indians, in the midst of a 
people wlio adhered to him with devoted affection, and where 
he was inaccessible. 

In May, 1788, courts were held at Greeneville without inter- 
ruption under the authority of North Carolina, at which were 
admitted as attorneys, who were licensed by North Carolina, 
Judges Andrew Jackson, John McNairy, David Allison, Archi- 
bald Roane, and Joseph Hamilton. 

The Cherokees began in the first months of the year 1788 to 
burn with a desire for war. It seemed, indeed, as if nothing 
could insure peace but their total extinction. The knowledge of 
tbeir hostile designs was made public by their massacre of 
Kirk's family. In the month of May, 1788, Kirk lived with his 
family on the south-west side of Little River, twelve miles south 
of Knoxville. While he was absent from home an Indian by 
the name of Slim Tom, known to the family, came to them and 
requested to be supplied with i^rovisions, which they gave him. 
He withdrew, having seen who were there and the situation 
they were in with regard to defense. He soon afterward re- 
turned from the woods with a party of Indians, fell upon the 
family, massacred the whole of them — eleven in number — and 
left them dead in the yard. Not long afterward, Kirk, coming 
home, saw his dead family lying on the gi'ound. He gave the 
alarm to the neighborhood, and the militia assembled under the 
command of Col. Sevier to the number of several hundred. They 
met at Hunter's Station, on Nine Mile Creek, which runs into the 


Holston on the south side. Thence they marched under com- 
mand of Col. Sevier to the Hiwassee River, and early in the morn- 
ing came npon a town which had been bnrned in 1779. The In- 
dians who were in it fled and took to the river. Many were 
killed in the town, some were made prisoners, and many were 
fired upon and killed in the river. They burned the town, and 
returned to Hunter's Station. On the next day they went up 
the Tennessee to the towns on that river, killed several Indians, 
bnrned the towns, and returned to the station. Tallassee, on 
the upper part of the Tennessee, was 07ie of these towns. The 
Indians fled from their difi'erent towns into the mountains, but 
were pursued by the troops and many of them killed. Abraham, 
a friendly Indian, with his son, who lived on the north side of the 
Tennessee, had declared publicly that if the Indians went to war 
heAvould remain at his own house, and would never quit it. When 
the troops came to the south side, Hubbard sent for Abraham 
and his son to come over the river to the troops. They came ac- 
cordingly. He directed them to return, and bring with them 
"The Tassel" and another Indian, that he might hold a talk 
with them. They also held up a flag, inviting those Indians to 
come to them. They did so, and were put into a house. Sevier 
was absent for some time on the business of his command. Dur- 
ing his absence those who were left behind permitted young 
Kirk, the son of him whose family was killed, to go with a tom- 
ahawk into the house where the Indians were inclosed, Hubbard 
being with him. There Kirk stuck his tomahawk into the head 
of one of them, who fell^dead at his feet, the white people on 
the outside of the house looking in upon them. The other In- 
dians, five or six in number, seeing this, immediately understood 
the fate intended for them. Each man cast his countenance 
and eyes to the ground, and one after the other received from 
the hands of Kirk upon the upper part of the head the fatal 
stroke of the tomahawk, and were all killed. Sevier, returning, 
saw the tragical effects of this rash act, and, on remonstrating 
against it, was answered by Kirk, who was supported by some 
of the troops, that if he had suffered from the murderous hands 
of the Indians as he (Kirk) had, that he (Sevier) would have 
acted in the same way. Sevier, unable to punish him, was 
obliged to overlook the flagitious deed and acquiesce in the 

196 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

It is much to be regretted that history, iu the pursuit of truth, 
is obliged to record, to the shame and confusion of ourselves, a 
deed of such superlative atrocity, perfidy, cowardice, and inhu- 
manity. Surely something is due to wounded feelings, and 
some allowance is to be made for the conduct of men acting un- 
der the smart of great and recent suffering. But never should 
it be forgotten by an American soldier that his honor must be 
unspotted; that a noble generosity must be the regulator of his 
actions; that inviolable fidelity in all that is promised an enemy 
is a duty of sacred obligation ; and that a beneficent and delicate 
behavior to his captive is the brightest ornament of his char- 

Suspicion, ever alive toward the conduct of military com- 
manders, attriauted to Col. Sevier a voluntary absence^ while 
many of those who were present acquitted him of all presenti- 
ment of the horrid act. Col. Sevier never acted with cruelty, 
before or since. He often commanded, but he was never accused 
of inhumanity; and he could not have given his consent on this 
occasion. Considering existing circumstances, he could not have 
maintained as much authority then as at other times. He was 
routed, proscribed, and driven from his home; he took shelter 
among the frontier inhabitants, who now composed his little 
army; he relied upon them for safety. They consulted only the 
exasperated feelings of the moment, and had never been in- 
structed in the rules of refined warfare. 

Capt. Gillespie, on arriving at the river, had also gone off with 
his company in search of the enemy, bj order of the command- 
ing ofiic«' He went up the river on the south side, and crossed 
to where the Indians were on the north. He pursued them 
several miles, and took some pack-horses. On his return the In- 
dians were everywhere in motion. He recrossed the river to the 
south side at the place where he had just before crossed. As he 
ascended the bank on the south side he saw an Indian named 
Alexander Mayberry, and hailed him. He stopped and gave up 
his gun, and surrendered himself a prisoner. Capt. Gillespie 
then went toward the army which he had left, and as he pro- 
ceeded was met by a company of soldiers who insisted upon kill- 
ing his prisoner. Capt. Gillespie told them that he had taken 
the Indian a prisoner, and that he should not be killed while in 
his possession. They still persisting, and manifesting a deter- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 197 

mined purpose to put the prisoner to death, Gillespie dismount- 
ed from his horse, and, placing himself between them and the 
Indian, cocked his gun, and gave them the most positive assur- 
ances that he would instantly pour the contents of it into the 
heart of that man who dared to fire upon the Indian. The res- 
olute air of his countenance convinced them that he intended 
what he said, and they desisted and went ofp. He led his pris- 
oner into camp and delivered him to Col. Sevier, who removed 
him to Hunter's Station, whence he was sent home in safety. 

The massacre of Kirk's family was followed in quick succes- 
sion by that of many others. A man by the name of English was 
killed near Bean's Station, and James Kirkpatrick between 
Bean's Station and Holston. Some were killed in the neigh- 
borhood of Bull run, and others at places north of Knoxville, 
and many others on the roads to West Tennessee and Kentucky. 
The people were compelled to live in forts. They built Hous- 
ton's Station, sixteen miles south of Knoxville, not far from the 
place where Maryville now stands. Gen. Martin sent a party 
to protect the inhabitants of the station under the command 
of Maj. Thomas Stewart, which went to the station and garri- 
soned it. 

Capt. John Fayne, with some enlisted men who composed a 
part of the guard under the command of Capt. Stewart, and 
some of the settlers who turned out with them, were sent out as 
scouts to reconnoiter the adjacent country. They crossed the 
Tennessee River and entered into an apple-orchard where care- 
lessly they began to galjier the fruit. The Indians were lying 
in wait, and had suffered them to march into the orchard with- 
out molestation. Whilst in the act of gathering fruit the In- 
dians surrounded them, drove them into the river, killed sixteen 
of the whites dead on the ground, took one prisoner, and wound- 
ed four, who with difficulty effected their escape. The scene of 
this tragedy was at a town called Sitico. Capt. Evans raised 
thirty men, who with himself lived a considerable distance from 
the place, and was at it in the evening of the third day. That 
night, being on the north bank of the Tennessee, they buried the 
dead whom they found on that side of the river, marched back 
about one mile, and encamped for the night on high ground. Maj. 
Thomas Stewart came in also with the enlisted men of the sta- 
tion. These were under his command, but the volunteer company 

198 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

was exclusively uuder tliat of Capt. Evaus. Next morning they 
crossed the river at the upper end of Chota, and thence to 
Sitico, where the massacre took place. There they found one 
white man lying on his back, with his belly rij^ped open; four 
men lying on a sand bar with their bellies also ripped up and 
their bowels floating on the w^ater. The head of one man was 
cut off, and his heart and bowels were torn out and strewed 
about on the ground. After burying the dead, they returned 

Such of the company in the orchard as survived the massacre 
had fled toward Knoxville. These the Indians liad pursued to 
within five miles of that place, and in the pursuit killed a great 
part of them. They then determined to attack Houston's Sta- 
tion, and with that view marched to it, but were beaten off by the 
garrison. Col. Sevier was at this time within twenty-five miles of 
the mouth of the Holston, and was marching diligently to the de- 
fense of Houston's Station, which he had been informed the In- 
dians had intended to reduce, but he had not yet heard of the 
attack which they had actually made upon it. He unexpectedly 
met one hundred of the retreating Indians, fired upon them, 
comjjelled them to give way, and continued his march to the 
station; thence he immediately went home, and without delay 
convened Capt. John Craig and his company, and one or two 
other companies, and at the sj)ecial request of Col. Sevier he 
was joined also by Capt. Evans and his company, who was re- 
quested to do so by an express sent for the purpose, Capt. 
Evans took post in the rear of the front guard. As the army 
passed through Sitico, Evans seeing an old Indian slip into a 
house between daylight and sunrise, took with him John Isli 
and rode up to the house, in which he saw sitting an old man, 
and upon dismounting and going into the house, saw in it two 
young Indian fellows, both of whom he and Ish killed, and re- 
joined the army. It marched constantly, and arrived at Chil- 
liowee. At this place they found Indians, had a skirmish with 
them, killing thirteen dead on the ground. The whites receiving 
no damage on their side, they all retui-ned home safely. A few 
weeks after this Evans raised a volunteer company, and other 
captains also raised companies to make an expedition into the 
Indian Nation. At their solicitation Col. Sevier took the com- 
mand of them. They crossed the Tennessee Eiver and went 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 199 

through Big Tellico Town; thence crossing the Unaca Mount- 
ain, tliey eutered the valley towns. Whilst the army marched 
on, Capt. Hubbard took ten men with him, and following a 
small path they came to a house where were seven or eight In- 
dians, who ran out of the house, when the whites killed five of 
them, took one small prisoner, and returned to the army. 
When tlie army halted at noon, Capt. Evans discovered an In- 
dian coming down the ridge. He mounted his horse, and tak- 
ing two or three men with him, rode toward the Indian. He 
fired ujDon Evans and his men, the ball passing through the 
hunting-shirt of one of them, and then ran to the foot of the 
hill, and, charging his gun, gave them a second fire. One of the 
white men fired at him and shot off his fore-finger. The Indian 
again charged his piece, but when he attemi3ted to prime, the 
blood ran so fast into the pan of the firelock that he could not 
effect it. The whites rode up to him and shot him down. 
Marching four miles farther, they encamped in hearing of the 
crowing of a cock, from a town that was six miles long, but per- 
ceiving that the enemy had left it at the approach of the army, 
Sevier, with the army, in the morning took a different route, 
which led them to the upper end of another town, where the 
corn was in the silk. The whole of this the army cut down be- 
fore them. The Indians kept up a constant fire, but the dis- 
tance was too great to do it with any effect. After encamping 
here all night, Evans, with ten men, was sent to reconnoiter the 
confines of the camp. On the top of a ridge he discovered the 
signs of Indians; a large body of them had been there, and had 
thrown off their old moccasins and put on new ones. He im- 
mediately gave intelligence of this to the colonel, and was or- 
dered by him to keep the ridge till the main body should be 
ready to march. About one hundred Indians had turned back, 
and others went on to form an ambuscade in a narrow passage. 
The army followed upon their trail till it came in view of the 
place where it was thought they lay concealed. The passage 
which the army had to go through was one where .the path was 
on the bank of the river under a large cliff of rocks for one- 
quarter of a mile, which did not admit of more than one man 
abreast, followed by others in Indian file. They had placed two 
hundi'ed men on the south side of the river ready to receive the 
whites had they attempted to cross; one hundred in the front. 

200 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

one hundred in the rear, and three hundred amongst the rocks 
and clifts. Of the whites the number was not more than one 
hundred and forty. The danger of marching through this i3as- 
sage was judiciously considered by Col. Sevier as too great to 
be encountered for the advantage to be attained, and he marched 
for the foot of the mountain, where he crossed as he went out. 
The army drove before it three head of neat cattle, and proceed- 
ed with so much haste that one of the cattle tired out and would 
go no farther. At the foot of the mountain they killed their 
cattle, and in fifteen minutes had tlie whole of their beef cut up 
and put into their knapsacks and had begun their march up the 
mountain. Capt Evans marched in the rear, and having passed 
the summit of the mountain and proceeded about two hundred 
yards down the other side of it, one of his men said that he had 
left his knife just before he crossed the top of the mountain, and 
he ran back for it. When he got to the mountain-top he 
heard the Indians ascending on the side of the mountain up 
which the whites had just before come. Intelligence of their 
vicinity was immediately given to the colonel. It was now be- 
tween sunset and dark, and the army, before it could encamp 
safely, was obliged to travel ten miles to Big Tellico, where, on 
the plains, it encamped. Five hundred Indians followed until 
they came in view of the camp, and there, their courage failing, 
they retired. Tlie nest day the troops crossed Tennessee and 
returned home. 

In the spring of the year 1788, while Gov. Sevier was on the 
frontier keeping the Indians in check, Spencer, one of the prin- 
cipal judges of North Carolina, joined the assistant judge, and 
held a Superior Court under the authority of North Carolina, 
at Jonesborough. Among other things, he issued a bench war- 
rant against Sevier for the crime of high treason. He still con- 
tinued, however, to be addressed as the Governor of Frankland. 
Mr. Gardoqui, the Spanish minister, on the 18th of x'\.pril, 1788, 
wrote to him, at the request of a gentleman of the North Caro- 
lina delegation, who wished that the minds of the good people 
of the frontiers of that State might be made easy with respect 
to the apprehension entertained by some lest the depredations 
of the savages should be encouraged by Spain. He assured the 
Governor that it was a malicious report, and that his Majesty, 
the King of Spain, was very graciously disposed to give the in- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 201 

habitants o£ that country every protection they should ask. 
"And for my part," said he, "it will give me the highest pleas- 
ure to contribute to your satisfaction on this or future occasions. 
Any thing, therefore, in my power shall be done to check the 
savages on your frontier, and I shall take care to write to the 
Governor of his Majesty's dominions in that quarter, according 
to the request of Mr. White." 

The Indians persevered during the whole of this year in doing 
to the frontier inhabitants all the mischief they could. Gen. 
Joseph Martin was under the necessity of raising troops for the 
protection of the inhabitants. He had succeeded Gen. Evan 
Shelby, resigned, who had been appointed on the non-acceptance 
of Sevier, in 1784. He collected soldiers from all the four west- 
ern counties, and some were sent to his assistance from Yirginia. 
They rendezvoused at the place now called Knoxville, and there 
crossed the Holston. Thence they marched to the Little Ten- 
nessee; thence to the Hiwassee; and thence down the river to 
the vicinity of Lookout Mountain, to a Chiccamauga town, and 
burned every house there.' One hundred men were dispatched 
across the mountain to another town on the west side of it. 
They were met by the Indians, who fired upon them, and they 
retreated. They were upon the mountain at sunset. The In- 
dians fired upon them from an ambuscade. Early next morning 
the spies were sent out, who took the mountain, and the Indians 
fired upon them from the same place. The army was then or- 
dered to march up the mountain. After advancing some dis- 
tance, the Indians poured in upon them a thick fire from every 
tree and rock near them. Three of Martin's captains were killed, 
and several of the Indians. They retired, and a guard of thirty 
or forty men was placed upon the top of the mountain until the 
army could return to the camp and get the baggage they had 
left there. The guard was to keep possession until the main 
body should return and cross the mountain, and go to the town 
they intended to burn; but the men refusing to go on the 
mountain, and Gen. Martin being unable to coerce them, he was 
obliged to abandon the enterprise, and ordered the guard into 
camp. The whole army then crossed the Hiwassee and Little 
Tennessee, and returned home. In the evening, after the battle, 
having made litters for carrying the wounded, and having bur- 
ied the dead, they took up the line of march for the settlements, 

202 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

being one hundred miles within the Indian country, not more 
than four hundred and fifty strong, most of whom were in a mu- 
tinous state, and having the wounded to take care of. The In- 
dians followed their trail, and at night fired upon them and stole 
their horses. Shortly after the return of the troops to their 
homes, the Indians came in a body of not less than two or three 
hundred men, and on the 10th of September took Gillespie Sta- 
tion or Fort, near the Little Eiver, within eight or ten miles of 
Knoxville. Sevier immediately followed them into their towns, 
and brought as many of their women and children, who were ex- 
changed for the former. 

Sevier, ever since his defeat at Tipton's, had been in the con- 
stant performance *of the most brilliant actions of great utility 
to his countrymen. He was among the frontier people, who 
adored him. He had by nature a talent for acquiring popular 
favor. It was natural for him to travel in the paths which led 
to it. To him it was no secret that in a republican government, 
where the democratic principle is a main ingredient in its com- 
position, the love of the people is substantial power. He had a 
friendly demeanor, a pleasing address, and, to crown all, he was 
a soldier. With such qualities he could not fiail to catch the 
prepossessions of the people, to attach them to his interests, and 
to mold them to the furtherance of his designs. The beloved 
man of the populace is always distinguished by a nickname: 
Nolichucky Jack was the one which they gave him. Whenever 
at future elections that name was pronounced, it had the effect 
of electrical power in prostrating the pretensions of every oppos- 
ing candidate. Sevier was generous, liberal, and hospitable. 
The people of North Carolina valued his good qualities, and had 
no disposition to dwell upon his late errors with any malevo- 
lence. As the government of North Carolina was now submit- 
ted to universally, they wished not to inflict punishment upon 
any for the parts they had taken in the late troubles. As he 
easily forgave in others the offenses they committed against 
him, he had not any suspicion that he was not as readily for- 
given. He was elevated by his merits in the public esteem; he 
knew not what it was to repine at the prosperity of others. But 
he had not learned that he who is rendered eminent by his serv- 
ices is the last to be pardoned for his faults; and that a repeti- 
tion of meritorious actions, like oil thrown upon fire, so far from 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 203 

extinguisliing, actually aggravates the augry passions which are 
roused against him. 

At the close of Martin's campaign, and in the month of Octo- 
ber, in the year 1788, not long before the intended meeting of 
the Assembly of North Carolina, in November of that year, Se- 
vier returned home, and appeared openly at all public places. 
About this time Gen. Martin called a council of field officers at 
Jonesborough, to take into consideration the situation of the 
frontiers, and to consult about the most effectual means of af- 
fording to them better protection than they heretofore had. 
Col. Eobert Love was present at the council; so was Col. Tip- 
ton. The Board rose, the members dispersed, and Tipton went 
home. Col. Love, the general, and Maj. King still remained at 
Jonesborough. The general was preparing to send Maj. King 
to the frontiers on the Tugulo, to open a correspondence with 
the Indians on the subject of peace. It was agreed upon among 
them that the general and Maj. King should go home with Col. 
Love, who lived on the road that led across the mountains to the 
Tugulo. While the latter were at Jonesborough, Gov. Sevier 
came riding into town with ten or twelve men. There he drank 
freely, and in a short time a controversy arose between him and 
Maj. Craig, who at that time lived where Maryville now stands, 
respecting the killing of those friendly Indians in the spring of 
the year, which occasioned the war with them that then existed. 
Craig censured Sevier for not preventing the murder, Craig 
having been present when it happened, and under the comcaand 
of Sevier. Those who were present interposed, and brought 
them to friendly terms. The general, Maj. King, and Col. Love 
left them, and set off for Col. Love's house, fourteen miles dis- 
tant. Not being able to go that far, Gen. Martin and King 
stopped at a house near Col. Kobinson's. After they left Jones- 
borough, another quarrel arose between Sevier and Caldwell, 
the former advancing with a pistol in his hand, and Caldwell 
with a rock. The pistol accidentally fired, and shot one of Se- 
vier's men in the abdomen, who was of the name of Cotton. 
Shortly after this Sevier left Jonesborough, and came by a place 
near Col. Robinson's, where Col. Love had taken up and stopped 
at Robinson's still-house, where they all drank freely and after 
some time separated. After Sevier left Jonesborough, Caldwell, 
with whom he had quarreled, went to Tipton, and in going and 

204 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

returning collected eight or ten men, with whom he went in pur- 
suit of Sevier. Arriving at the house where Col. Love lodged, 
he went with them to Col. Robinson's, where Gen. Martin and 
Maj. King were. Tipton there had a close search made for Se- 
vier, supposing that, as there was a good understanding between 
Robinson and him, the latter might be there. The pursuers 
then went to the widow Brown's, where Sevier was. * Tipton and 
the party with him rushed forward to the door of common en- 
trance. It was about sunrise. Mrs. Brown had just risen. See- 
ing a party with arms at that early hour, well acquainted with Col. 
Tipton, probably rightly apprehending the cause of this visit, 
she sat herself down in the front door to prevent their getting 
into the house, which caused a considerable bustle between her 
and Col. Tipton. Sevier had slept near one end of the house, 
and on hearing the noise sprung from his bed and, looking 
through a hole in the doorside, saw Col. Love, upon which he 
opened the door and held out his hand, saying to Col. Love: "I 
surrender to you." He was in his undress, and Col. Love led 
him to the place where Tipton and Mrs. Brown were contending 
about a passage into the house. Tipton, on seeing Sevier, was 
greatly enraged, an^l swore that he would hang him. Tipton 
held a pistol in his hand, sometimes swearing that he would 
shoot him, and Sevier was really afraid that he would put his 
threat into execution. Tipton at last became calm, and ordered 
Sevier to get his horse, for that he would carry him to Jones- 
borough. Sevier pressed Col. Love to go with him to Jones- 
borough, which the latter consented to do. On the way he re- 
quested Col. Love to use his influence that he might be impris- 
oned in Jonesborough, and that he might not be sent over the 
mountains into North Carolina. Col. Love remonstrated to him 
against an imprisonment in Jonesborough; "for," said he, "Tip- 
ton will place a strong guard around you there; your friends will 
attempt a rescue, and bloodshed will be the result." Sevier urged 
that he would persuade his friends to peaceable measures, and ex- 
pressed great reluctance at the idea of being taken from his fami- 
ly and friends. As soon as they arrived at Jonesborough, Tipton 
ordered iron handcuffs to be put on him, which was accordingly 
done. He then carried the Governor by the residence of Col. 
Love and that of the widow Pugh, whence he went home, leav- 
ing Sevier in custody of the deputy sheriff and two other men, 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 205 

with orders to carry him to Morganton, and lower down if he 
thought it necessary. Col. Love traveled with him till late in 
the evening, and was requested by the Governor to send down 
to his wife and let her know of his situation, with a request to 
her to send clothes to him and some money. Next morning 
James Love, the biiother of the colonel, was dispatched with this 
message to Mrs. Sevier. She transmitted to her husband the 
necessaries he wanted. A few days afterward James and John 
Sevier, sons of the Governor, together with Mr. Cosby, Maj. 
Evans, and some few others, were seen by Col. Love following 
the way the guard had gone. Before Col. Love had left the 
guard, they had at his request taken off the irons of their pris- 
oner. The next morning he attempted to make his escape, but 
the guard overtook him; and one of them, George French, shot 
at him with a pistol, as the horses were running, before they 
stopped him. The friends of Sevier say that French had it in 
charge to kill him, and intended to execute his commission; and 
that on the Iron Mountain, on their way to North Carolina, Gor- 
ley, another of the guard, informed Sevier of the order and in- 
tention of French, upon which he endeavored to make his es- 
cape. That in his flight he became entangled in trees and brush 
thrown down by a hurricane, and could proceed no farther; Avhen 
French came up and fired a pistol at his face, which fortunately 
did him no harm, except burning him with the powder. The 
bullet had slipped out of the pistol unknown to French. The 
guard proceeded with him to Morganton, where they delivered 
him to William Morrison, the then high sherifl'of Burke Coun- 
ty. As the guard passed through the settlement of the McDow- 
ells, in Burke County, Gen. McDowell and Gen. Joseph McDow- 
ell, the latter of whom had been in service with him and fought 
by his side in several perilous battles, and the former of whom 
had a few years since fled from the enemy in his own neighbor- 
hood and taken shelter under the roof of Sevier, both followed 
him immediately to Morganton, and there became his securities 
for a few days, until he could go down and see a brother-in-law 
who lived in that county. Agreeably to his promise, he returned 
punctually. The sheriff then, upon his oWn responsibility, let 
him have a few days more to visit his friends and acquaintances. 
By this time his two sons, with Cosby, Evans, and others, came 
into Morganton without any knowledge of the people there, who 

206 Haywood's histohy of Tennessee. 

tliey were or what their business was. On striking the settle- 
ments on the east side of the mountains they had separated, and 
had come into town singly. Court was at that time sitting in 
Morganton, and tliey were with the people generally without 
suspicion. At night, when the court broke up and the people 
dispersed, they, with the Governor, pushed forward toward the 
mountains Math the greatest rapidity, and before morning ar- 
rived at them, and were beyond the reach of any who might 
think proper to pursue them. 

In July of this year the convention of North Carolina met at 
Hillsborough, under a resolution of the Assembly at Tarbor- 
ough, to accept or reject the proposed Federal Constitution. 
They rejected until certain amendments could be obtained. All 
the Western or ultramontane counties were represented in the 
convention. The elections were made in the spring, and at 
that time the remains of the government of Frankland were no 
longer visible. 

After the Assembly of North Carolina, in the year 1783, had 
designated the boundaries of the Indian hunting-grounds, mak- 
ing the Tennessee, French Broad, and Big Pigeon Bivers a part 
of these boundaries, a great number of persons at different times 
prior to the year 1789, and between the commencement of that 
year and the year 1783, during the time of the disturbances be- 
tween North Carolina and the government of Frankland, had 
settled themselves upon the territory south of the Tennessee and 
Holston and west of the French Broad and Big Pigeon Rivers, 
which was undeniably and confessedly a part of the Cherokee 
lands assigned by the act of 1783. In tlie time of the Frank- 
land government they were included in the county of Sevier, but 
Mdien that government became dissolved the people found them- 
selves considered as trespassers and violators of the law of North 
Carolina, without government, without judicial tribunals, and 
without officers, civil or military, to protect them from injury. 
Sensible of the dei)lorable evils to which they were exposed by 
this state of things, they endeavored to remedy it as well as they 
could by private associations. Written articles were framed 
and circulated for the adoption of the people in that part of the 
country, in which they styled themselves the inhabitants south 
of the French Broad, Holston, and Big Tennessee. The articles 
stated that "by means of the divisions and anarchy that have of 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 207 

late prevailed within the chartered limits of North Carolina 
west of the Appalachian Mountains, being at present destitute 
o£ regular government and laws, and being fully sensible that 
the blessings of nature can only be obtained and rights secured 
by regular society, and North Carolina not having extended her 
government to this quarter, it is rendered absolutely necessary 
for the preservation of peace and good order, and the security of 
life, liberty, and proj^erty to individuals, to enter into the folloAv- 
ing social compact as a temporary expedient against greater evils : 

"Article the first. That the Constitution and Laws of North 
Carolina shall be adopted, and that every person within the 
bounds above mentioned shall be subject to the penalties inflict- 
ed by those laws for the violation thereof. 

"Article the second. That the officers appointed under the 
authority of Frankland, either civil or military, and Mdio have 
taken the oaths of office, shall continue to exercise the duties of 
such offices, as far as directed and empowered by these Articles 
and no further, and shall be accountable to the people or their 
deputies for their conduct in office. 

"Article the third. That militia companies as now bounded 
shall be considered as districts of the above territory, and each 
district or militia company shall choose two members to rep- 
resent them in a general committee, who shall have power to 
choose their own president and clerk, to meet on their own ad- 
journments, and the President shall have power to convene the 
committee at any time when the exigences of affairs require 
their meeting, and shall have power to keep order .and to cause 
rules of decorum to be observed, in as full a manner as the 
President of any other convention whatever. And in all cases of 
maladministration or neglect of duty in any officer, the party 
grieved shall appeal to the committee or a majority of them, who 
shall be competent to form a board for business. And upon 
such application the committee shall cause the parties to come 
before them, and after examining carefully into the nature of 
the offense shall have power to reprieve of office, or publicly 
reprimand the offender as the demerit of the crime may deserve, 
or otherwise to acquit the party accused if found not guilty. 

"Article the fourth. Where vacancies happen in the military 
department, the same shall be filled up by election as heretofore 
used, and the officers thus elected shall be the reputed officers 

208 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

of sucli regiment or company, as the case may be, and shall be 
accountable to the committee for their conduct as other officers. 

"Article the fifth. Civil officers shall Jiave power to take cog- 
nizance of breaches of the peace or criminal ofi'enses, and where 
any person is convicted of an offense not capital, the officer be- 
fore whom such offender is convicted shall immediately inflict 
the punishment directed by law for such offense. But where 
the crime is capital the officer shall send such criminal, togeth- 
er with the evidences for or against him or them, to the nighest 
justice of the peace for North Carolina, there to be dealt with 
according to law, but no civil officer shall decide upon cases of 
debt, slander, or the right of property. 

"Article the sixth. Militia officers shall have power to collect 
their regiments or representative companies, emergences mak- 
ing it necessary, and in case of invasion by the common enemy, 
shall call out their companies regularly by divisions, and each 
militia-man shall give obedience to the commands of his officers 
as is required by law, or otherwise be subject to the penalties 
affixed by law for such neglect or refusal at the judgment of a 

"Article the seventh. And wdiereas it is not improbable that 
many horse-thieves and fugitives from justice may come from, 
different parts, expecting an asylum amongst us as we are desti- 
tute of a i^egular government and law^s by which they may be 
punished, each and every one of us do oblige ourselves to aid 
and assist the officers of the different State or States, or of the 
United States, or any description of men sent by them, to ap- 
prehend such horse-thief or fugitive from justice. And if any 
of the above characters should now be lurking amongst us, or 
shall hereafter be discovered to have taken refuge in this quar- 
ter, we do severally bind ourselves by the sacred ties of honor 
to give information to that State or government from which 
they have fled, so that they may be apprehended and brought to 

"Article the eighth. United application shall be made to the 
next session of the Assembly of North Carolina to receive us 
into their protection, and to bestow upon us the blessings of 

"Article the ninth. The captains of the respective militia 
companies shall each of them procure a copy of these articles, 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 209 

and after calling the company together for the purpose, shall 
read them or cause them to be read distinctly, to said company, 
and each militia-man or householder after hearing them read, if 
he approve of them, shall subscribe his name to the articles as 
a proof of his willingness to subject himself to them, and said 
articles shall be the temporary form of government until we are 
received into the protection of North Carolina, and no longer." 

The application to be formed into a county was not yielded 
to by the Legislature of North Carolina, and these people were 
suffered to remain in the situation in which they had so indis- 
creetly placed themselves till long afterward. 

The real character of the times cannot be represented more to 
the life than by exhibiting in the expressions which the people 
themselves used, the prominent evils they recapitidated and en- 
deavored to provide against at the very moment when they 
were suffering under them. 

The Assembly of North Carolina met at Fayette ville in this 
year (1788) on the 3d of November, and continued their session 
to the 6th of December. In this session they added a part of 
the county of Wasliington to Sullivan — namely, all that part of 
Washington County included in the following bounds: Begin- 
ning at the head of Indian Creek, where the line divides Wash- 
ington and Sullivan Counties; thence in a straight line south of 
David Hughes's; thence in a straight line south of Francis 
Hodge's to the Watauga Kiver; thence down the meanders of 
said river to its junction with the Holston Eiver; thence up the 
line which divides Washington and Sullivan Counties to the 
first station. They authorized the commanding officers of the 
four western counties to fix on a proper ptace on the northern 
side of the Tennessee Eiver for establishing a station for the 
protection of the frontiers, and to insure safety to travelers on 
the new road to the Cumberland settlements. The guard was 
to consist of one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, and thirty- 
three non-commissioned officers and privates to be kept at the 
station for one year, the men to be raised from the respect- 
ive counties by voluntary enlistment or an equal indiscrim- 
inate draft; the guard to be subject to the regulations estab- 
lished by the militia law, and to have the same pay and rations. 
The commanding officers of the counties were empowered and re- 
quired to appoint some one person commissary and paymaster to 

210 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

the guard, in whose favor the Governor was to issue warrants 
for the pay and rations of the guard on the public Treasurer, 
payable out of the funds arising from the taxes of the said four 
counties and out of no other fund whatever. A restriction which 
at this time, and for some years past, occupied the greater part 
if not all the appropriations for the western people. They like- 
wise at this session extended the act of oblivion to all persons 
who desired to avail themselves of it, and pardoned all crimes 
of a similar nature committed since the passage of the act of the 
last Assembly in 1787. The persons who committed them were 
freely restored to all the privileges of citizens, provided that 
they within three months should take the oath of allegiance to 
the State of North Carolina before the judge of the Superior 
Court of the District of Washington; provided, further and ex- 
pressly, that the pardon then given should not extend to crimes, 
offenses, or misconduct which might be done subsequently to the 
passing of this act. And they further provided that the benefit 
of this act should not entitle John Sevier to the enjoyment of 
any oflfice of profit, of honor, or trust in the State of North Car- 
olina, but that he be expressly debarred therefrom. The As- 
sembly again ordered the election and meeting of another con- 
vention to deliberate on the propriety of adopting the proposed 
Federal Constitution. The public opinion upon this subject 
had undergone a great change since the sitting of the conven- 
tion in July of this year. The time appointed for the meeting 
of the next convention was shortly precedent to that on which 
the Assembly was to sit. Between the rising of the xlssembly 
in 1778 and the election of members to serve in the convention, 
the subject of adopting or not the proposed Federal Constitu- 
tion underwent all the discussions of which it was susceptible, 
which appeared in the speeches of eminent men in their debates 
upon the same subjects in the conventions of other States. In 
newspaper publications, and in verbal discourses in all public 
meetings and private companies, explanations were given, the 
defects to be obviated were referred to, the effects to be attained 
shown, the evils to be avoided pointed out, the dangers impend- 
ing were demonstrated, and the experience of successful oper- 
ation upon the adopting States was appealed to. The people, 
ever willing to do right if they can but understand what it is, as 
they do whenever the noisy mosquitoes of the day are silenced. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 211 

began to see with tlieir own eyes the necessity for j)olitical re- 
generation. Deputies to the convention and members for the 
Assembly were elected in the western counties as well as every- 
where else; and on the 2l3t of November, 1789, at Fayetteville, 
the convention adopted and ratified the proposed Constitution. 

The members of the convention who voted against the adojDt- 
tion of the Constitution at Hillsborough, in the year 1788, were 
Col. Tipton, John Stewart, Eichard White, Joseph Tipton, and 
Robert Allen. Those who were members from the same county 
in 1789^ and voted for its adoption, were Landon Carter, John 
Blair, and Robert Love. 

Sevier, at the time of the annual election, in August, 1789, of- 
fered himself as a candidate to represent the county of Greene 
as a Senator in the next Assembly of North Carolina, and with- 
out difficulty was elected. At the appointed time, which was 
on the 2d of November, he went to Fayetteville to take his seat; 
and for his accommodation they, in a very early period of the 
session, repealed all and every part of the last providing clause 
in the act of oblivion of the last session which related to him by 
name. He took the oaths of qualification, which were required 
of every member, and the oath of allegiance to the State of 
North Carolina. 

On his first arrival at Fayetteville Sevier waited eight or ten 
days before he attempted to take his seat, partly that his friends 
might discover what would be the consequence of attempting to 
take a seat, and partly to give time for the repeal of that part of 
the act of oblivion which exckided him by name from any office 
of honor, trust, or profit. After taking his seat matters re- 
mained quiet for some time, until Col. (afterward general and 
Governor) Davie proposed for adoption a resolution to inquire 
into the conduct of John Sevier, the then sitting Senator from 
Greene County. It was well understood how the proposal 
would be received, even before it was offered, and to show at 
once how far were the members of this Assembly from meditat- 
ing any harsh proceedings against him. His friends were 
alarmed for a moment, but they soon found the favoritism 
which predominated on the side of their friend. The resolu- 
tion, much to the satisfaction of the mover, was left on the ta- 
ble, and Sevier was reinstated in the command of brigadier- 
general for all the western counties. 

212 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Thus was brought to a final conclusion the government of 
I'rankland, and all the consequences appendant to it. Under 
the present government the Legislature of the State both passed 
laws confirmatory of administrations granted by the courts held 
under the authority of the government of Frankland and laws 
for legalizing marriages celebrated under the authority of that 

The Assembly of North Carolina, which sat at Fayetteville in 
November and part of December, 1789, passed a law for paying 
the militia oflicers and soldiers for their services in the expedi- 
tion carried on against the Chiccamauga Indians by Brig.-Gen. 
Josepli Martin in the year 1788. The commanding officer was 
authorized to exhibit in the Comptroller's office paroles on oath 
for the service of said militia; and a roll with the names of the 
officers who served in the expedition, which the Comptroller 
was to examine and to make out, and issue certificates to each 
officer and soldier, which should be received by the sheriff of 
the District of Washington in payment of the public money 
tax due therein, and no other, until all such certificates be paid. 
And in order that the certificates might be got ready in time to 
pay the taxes with, they ordered the collectors of the public 
moneys for the Districtof Washington to delay the collection of 
the taxes due in that district for the term of three months, and 
repealed the law for fixing a garrison on the north side of the 
Tennessee River. They empowered the Comptroller also to 
liquidate the accounts of the commissary on this expedition, 
and to grant him certificates receivable as the other certificates 
were in payment of public dues. 

Ever since the month of October, in the year 1784, when the 
Legislature of North Carolina repealed the cession act which 
had been passed in the sprijig of that year, the people of Wash- 
ington, Sullivan, and Greene Counties were in a state of rest- 
lessness concerning their situation. They found themselves 
suddenly re-attached to a country in which a considerable por- 
tion of them could perceive no affection for themselves, nor 
any disposition to give them protection, nor otherwise actuated, 
as many believed, but by a desire to get from the sale of their 
lands more certificates of public debt, and the opinion was en- 
tertained that North Carolina could expose them to the toma- 
hawk and scalping-knife without feeling in the least for their 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 213 

sufferings, and without liaving the least inclination to prevent 
them. Past experience, in their judgment, had fully demon- 
strated the advantages which were to be expected from the re- 
newal of their connections with North Carolina — they were to 
fight for themselves, protect their own possessions, and pay tax- 
es, which, if not sufficient for the expenses incurred in defending 
themselves, were to be applied as far as they would go, and the 
surplus of expenses was to be left unsatisfied. Many instances 
of such treatment were supposed to lie scattered through the 
public annals of the country. The expenses of maintaining, 
protecting, and governing the settlements through various chan- 
nels had greatly accumulated, and every law was carefully 
worded, so as to restrict the bvirdens of payment to the districts 
of Washington and Mero. The instances to the contrary were 
very few and inconsiderable. The expenses of maintaining the 
western members at the Assembly, and some others of small 
note, had inevitably fallen upon the State treasury. On the 
other hand, the members of the Atlantic Counties had the near 
prospect, as they supposed, of becoming subject to a still great- 
er aggravation of burden, and this anticipation never failed to 
recall a desire for separation; indeed, it seemed as if at this mo- 
ment there was a presentation to the Assembly of more western 
claims than had ever before come forward at one time. The 
Atlantic members labored to find ways and means, and still 
more to avoid making contributions from the counties east of 
the Alleghanies. At the same time they began to be tormented 
with the dreadful apprehension that the time would soon come 
when they must dive into the pockets of their immediate con- 
stituents for the payment of their growing expenses. The west- 
ern members were charged in private circles with an industrious 
intimation of enormous expenses, which the present circum- 
stances of the new settlement made indispensable. AVhilst for 
some cause an outcry was made that the western settlements 
would soon cost more than even the possessions of them would 
retribute; and it began to be whispered that it was sound policy 
to follow the scriptural injunction of lopping off and casting 
away whatever member of the body proved to be offensive. To 
such and the like apothegms the members of the Legislature 
began to be familiarized either by the real or pretended accu- 
mulation of pressing burdens, which it was dreaded were about to 

214 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

fall upon the interior counties. They had in the late revolt been 
furnished with the hint that for very small provocations as they 
deemed them the western counties would set up for independ- 
ence, which it was not in their power tocoutroL Operated upon 
by these and other motives, the Atlantic counties came to the 
conclusion to let them separate, stipulating for themselves, as the 
price of emancipation, such terms as were necessary and con- 
venient for their own people. The Chiccamauga claims, as they 
were termed, were no small stimulants to the cession act. The 
Chiccamaugas had plundered and killed the inhabitants of 
Washington District till it became necessary to embody the 
militia and march in hostile array into their own country. The 
Assembly made the provision already mentioned for paying 
them. The comprehensiveness and the acumen of the terms 
they employed sufficiently point out the decisive spirit with 
which it was enacted, and the settled determination of the As- 
sembly not to subject themselves to any more western debts. 
Complaints w'ere made that long after the cession act an unfair 
use was made by the western people of the laws; and it must be 
acknowledged that if any attempts were made after 1790 to set- 
tle accounts and obtain certificates under the provisions of the 
Chiccamauga act, it was an unexpected course of proceeding, ad- 
verse to the state of things which North Carolina supposed to 
exist after the acceptance of the cession act. But the western 
people may have thought it was not material by what means 
they could draw from a treasurj' replenished by the sales of 
lands which the unassisted valor of the western people had 
plucked from the hands of the savages, and wdiich had also been 
rendered valuable by the settlements which the same valor had 
j)lanted upon them. They may have judged that to get into 
such a treasury through an unguarded avenue which the proper 
owners had left open and forgotten might not, in a court of 
conscience, be a crime that is entirely unpardonable, especially 
if the court were created amongst the western people. The 
learned say that all consciences are not made in the same mold 
nor are of the same length, and it has been shrewdly suspected 
that upon this subject a North Carolinian and a Tennessee con- 
science would be found to differ materially. It was believed 
about this time that the western people and their members were 
not deficient in the advancement of all their just claims, and lost 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 215 

no opportunity to present them whenever there was a hope of 
having them favorably passed on, and as their constituents were 
not opulent enough to make them neglect trifles, they claimed, 
it was thought, full measure for all their services and supplies, 
and omitted no claim from a motive of disinclination to swell 
the account. Either by accident or design the ungrateful creed 
was inculcated that more expeditions against the Chiccamaugas 
and other Indian tribes would soon become necessary. Upon 
its trail there followed the odious suggestion that whenever the 
western people wanted money they pretended that the Indians 
plundered and scalped their inhabitants; embodied the militia, 
and continued them in service till their pay amounted to the 
sums they wanted; that there were endless sources of expendi- 
ture which would never cease to furnish claims and complaints 
for the unwilling ears of the Atlantic members, who had nearly 
as much complacency about this time for the yell of the savage 
as the claims and complaints of the western representatives. 
These rumors did not fail of their effect. Each party ran with 
joy to the formation of articles which were to sever them for- 
ever asunder. They authorized and required their Senators in 
Congress to execute a deed or deeds conveying to the United 
States of America all right, title, and claim which North Caro- 
lina had to the sovereignty and territory of the lands situated 
within the chartered limits of North Carolina and west of the 
line which has already been described as the eastern boundary 
of the State of Tennessee. (See "Apioendix," cession act.) 

On the 25th of February, in the year of our Lord 1790, Sam- 
uel-Johnston and Benjamin Hawkins, the Senators in Congress 
from North Carolina, executed a deed in the words of the ces- 
sion act; and on the 2d of April, of the same year, the United 
States, in Congress assembled, by an act made for the special 
purpose, accepted the deed. The sovereignty of North Carolina 
over the ceded territory instantly expired. North Carolina -was 
relieved from all her inquietudes, and the western people with 
joyful alacrity began to open for themselves the paths to pros- 
perity and glory. The separation was not like that of a discon- 
solate mother parting from a beloved daughter, but rather like 
that where Abraham said unto Lot: "Separate thyself, I pray thee, 
from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; 
or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left." 


Commissioners and Guards Lay Ofi'tlie Bounds of the Military Lands — Nashville 
Established — Provisions Made by the Assembly for the Settlers in Cumberland 
— Spaniards Set Up Claims to the Counties North of Thirty-one Degrees of 
North Latitude — Treaty with the Creeks as within Their Limits — Articles of the 
Treaty — Col. Rolierlson's Conduct toward the Spaniards — Indian Incursions — 
Their Comliat with Trammel and Mason — Aspre's Combat with Them — Per- 
sons Killed or Wounded by the Indians in 1783, 1784, and 1785 — Provisions of 
the Assembly in 1785 for the Cumberland Settlements — Davidson Academy 
Established — Sujierior Court for tlie County of Davidson Eslablislied — Distil- 
lation of Grain in Cund)erland Prohibited — Treaty of Hopewell — Inhabit- 
ants South of the French Broad and the Holston — The Southern States Dis- 
satisfied with the Treaty — Creeks Persevered in Their Hostilities — Extension 
of the Settlements in the Cumberland — Persons Killed by tiie Indians — Whites 
Routed by tiie Indians on Defeated Creek — Men Raised by the Assembly for the 
Protection of Davidson — Road to Be Cut from the Lower End of Clinch 
Moimtain into the Cumberland Settlements — Further Time for Surveys and 
Registration of Grants — Sumner County Erected in 1786 — Settlements toward 
Red River Extended — Persons Killed or Wounded by the Indians in 1786 and 
1787 — Expeditions toColdwater — Indians Surprised and Killed — Fiencli Trad- 
ers and Their Goods Taken; the Town Burned — Frencli Boats Taken Coming 
up tiie River — The Troops Returned to Niisiiville; Goods Sold, and the Pro- 
ceeds Divided — A Company Went by Water, and Were Defeated at the 
Mouth of Duck River, and Turned Back — Col. Robertson Wrote to Illinois, 
Giving a Detailed Statement of This Expedition, and of the Causes Which 
Led to It — Creek Parties Came to tiie Cumljerland Settlements and Fell upon 
the Inliabitants; Pursued and Routed; in Turn Attacked by liie Indians, Who, 
after a Long Conflict, Retreated — Other Parties Came to the Cumberland Set- 
tlements and Killed the Inhal)ilants— Troops of Evans's Battalion Begin to Ar- 
rive in Small Detachments — Patrol Appointed by Col. Robertson, and Duties 
Prescribed — Indian Party Pursued by Capt. Rains; Not Overtaken — Fell upon 
the Trail of Indians Going to Nashville; Followed Them; Overtook and Dis- 
persed Them — Sent Out Again Afterward ; Fell upon a Trace; Overtook the In- 
dians; Killed Some, and Made a Boy Prisoner — Sent Out Again; Found a 
Trace, Overtook the Indians; Killed Some, and Took a Prisoner— Other Par- 
ties Frequently Sent Out — The Soldiers of Evans's Battalion Placed at Difii?rent 
Stations — Persons Killed in 1787 — Scouting Parties — Their Various Fortunes 
— Representation to the Assembly of the Distressed Situation of the Cumber- 
land Settlements by the Members from Davulson and Sumner — Names of 
Persons Killed — Spaniards Blamed — Proceedings of the Assembly in Favor 
of the Cumberland Settlements — Road — Pass to the Indians— 111 Treatment 
of Indians Prohibited — Escort for Moving Families — Road Cut — Making of 
Salt Encouraged — Persons Killed or Wounded by the Indians in 1788 — 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 217 

Robertson nnd Bledsoe Inquire of the Creeks the Real Cause of Their Hostil- 
ility — The Answer of McGillevray — Other Persons Killed or Wounded by the 
Indians in 1788 — Accession of New Settlers — Federal Constitution Rejected — 
Tennessee County — Seperior Court District; the name of Mero Given to It 
— Remarks upon That Circumstance — Creek Claim to Lands in Cumberland 
Refuted by Gen. Robertson— Justified His Expedition to Coldwater — His Re- 
ply to McGillevray — McGillevray's Answer — Conflicts with the Indians, 1789 
— Persons Killed or Wounded in 1789 — Mero's Proclamation Inviting Settlers 
on the West Side of the Mississippi — Col. Morgan Made a Settlement; Discon- 
tinued in 1789 — Proceedings of the Assembly of 1789, in Relation to the Cum- 
berland Settlements — Salt Licks Disposed of— Tobacco Inspection. 

EAELT in 1784 the commissioners and guards came from 
Nortli Carolina, and laid off the military land from the 
northern boundary of the State southwardly. They ran south 
fifty-five miles to Mount Pisgah; and then, forming themselves 
into two divisions, one ran to the Tennessee and the other to the 
Caney Fork. The line made by the commissioners in 1783 
crossed the Harper E-iver a mile, or thereabout, below the place 
where the Big South Road (as it was then called) crossed the 
same river, being six or seven miles above where Franklin now 
stands; and, in its western direction, passing near where Gid- 
dens now lives. This South Road, as it was called, was a broad 
beaten path, made by the buffaloes which came from the south 
to the French Lick, and apparently had been used by them for 
ages. It was worn into the earth one or two feet, or more in 
many places. In some places it was three or four feet wide. 
Buffaloes, when they go to or from a lick, follow their leader in 
front in a single line. Sometimes they continue in the same 
slow and solemn pace for nine or ten miles before they turn off 
the road to graze and satisfy their hunger. This South Road 
extended from the French Lick to Duck River, and how much 
farther the writer has not yet ascertained. The lines run in 
these two years were said to be eight or nine miles apart. That 
run in 1783 was called the "Continental Line;" that run in 1784, 
by Rutherford, the "Commissioners' Line." 

The Assembly of Nortli Carolina, in their April and May ses- 
sion of the year 1784, established a town at the bluff, and named 
it Nashville in memory of the patriotic and brave Gen. Nash. 
He was a gallant and active officer, full of zeal for the glory of 
his country. At the battle of Brandywine he commanded the 
brigade from North Carolina. In the heat of the battle a can- 

218 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

non-ball broke his tliigli as he was sitting on his horse in the 
field of battle. He died a death of honor in the arms of glory. 
His name is embalmed in the memory of his countrymen, with 
an unguent of endless duration. 

At the same session they provided for many persons who had 
failed from inevitable causes to obtain from the commissioners 
in 1783 certificates of their preemption rights. 

After the rights of preemption were created by the act of 
1782, events took place which de fado forrfted the preemption- 
ers into classes more or less meritorious. Some had gone off 
when the public distress was very pressing, and lived for a time 
in Kentucky or in other neighboring settlements; some had re- 
mained and defended the country through all its dangers ; others 
had done the same, but were under the age of twenty-one years, 
and for that reason were out of the provisions of the act of 1782; 
others had come after the 1st of June, 1780, but had joined with 
great bravery and effect in repelling the Indians ; and some were 
killed, and left young children and widows. Those of the first 
description this act of 1784 left as they were before. Under 
the provisions of the act of 1782 and 1783 they were entitled to 
a right of preemption, but must pay the price required. Not 
so with those who had staid and defended the country, and were 
still living. They were to make their entries without any price 
to be paid to the public. These the act particularly named^ 
that is to say: John Cockrill, Ann Cockrill (formerly the wid- 
ow), Ann Johnston, Robert Espey, James Espey, John Buch- 
anon, Cornelius Eeddle, James Mulherrin, James Todd, Isaac 
Johnston, John Gibson, Francis Armstrong, John Kennedy, Jr., 
Mark Robertson, William Ellis, James Thompson, James Shaw, 
James Franklin, Henry Howdeshall, Pierce Castello, Morris 
Skean, "William Logan, David Flood, John White, Peter Loo- 
ney, William Collins, Jonas Manifee, Daniel AVilliams, John 
Evans, Andrew Thompson, Casper Mansco, George Freeland, 
Daniel Johnston, Edward Swauson, Andrew Kellow, Francis 
Hodge, John Mulherrin, James Freeland, John Tucker, James 
Foster, Amos Heaton, Dennis Condry, Frederick Stump, Rus- 
sell Gower, Andrew Erliu, Thomas Rater, Isaac Lindsey, Moses 
Winters, James Harris, John Brown, Lewis Crane, John Mont- 
gomery, Stephen Ray, Daniel Hogan, Thomas Spencer, Hum- 
phrey Hogan, Heyden Wells, Henry Ramsey, John Barrow, John 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 219 

Thomas, William Stewart, Samuel Walker, David Ptouncevall, 
Arthur McAuoo, James McAdoo, Henry Turney, Samuel Bar- 
ton, John Dunham, Ephraim Pratt, William Overall, and James 
Robertson — seventy in all. The same provision was made in fa- 
vor of the heirs and devisees of such as were dead, and those 
also were specially named: Zachariah AVhite, Alexander Buch- 
anon, James Leiper, James Harod, Alexander Thompson, Dan- 
iel Maxwell, Eobert Lucas, Timothy Terril, William Hood, Ed- 
ward Carven, William Neely, James Franklin, Samuel Morrow, 
George Kennedy, John Robertson, Able Gowen, Sr., x4.bel 
Gowen, Jr., Nicholas Trammel, Philip Mason, James Turpen, 
Nathan Turpen, Jacob Stumi3, Nicholas Gentry, William Coop- 
er, Jacob Jones, James May field, William Green, William John- 
ston, Samuel Scott, George Aspie, William Leighton, John 
Crutchfield, Joseph Hay, John Searcy, Isaac Lucas, Patrick 
Quigley, Jacob Stall, Joseph Milligan, Abraham Jones, David 
Porter, Benjamin Porter, Edward Larimore, William Gausley, 
Jonathan Jennings, David Carver, Jesse Bralston, Joseph 
Eenfroe, Philip Conrad, William Gausway, John Bernard, John 
Lumsden, John Gilky, Solomon Phelps, James Johns, Thomas 
Hainey, Alexander Allerton, John Blackmore, James Fowler, 
John McMurtry, John Shoctly, John Galloway, and Isaac La- 
four — sixty-three in all. The act takes notice of these latter as 
persons who were killed in the defense and settlement of the 
county of Davidson, and directs that the heirs and devisees of 
each of them shall have six hundred and forty acres of land 
without price to be paid to the public. It proceeds to make 
provision for those who, because of their non-age on the 1st of 
June, 1780, were not entitled to the right of preemption under 
the act of 1782, though they had remained in the country and 
helped to defend it; and for those who had joined in its defense, 
though not in the country on the 1st of June, 1780. They gave 
to each of them six hundred and forty acres of land, to be laid 
off out of any lands in the country, except those set apart for 
the officers and soldiers. These also they particularly named, 
and enabled them to enter their lands without price to be paid 
to the State. Their names were: Christopher Gais, Sr., Chris- 
topher Gais, Jr., Jonathan Gais, Kasper Booker, Richard 
Breeze, Phineas Cook, Mark Nobles, John Kells, Isaac Mayfield, 
Samuel Holies, Isaac Rouucevall, Eneas Thomas, Joshua Tliom- 

220 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

as, Caleb Winters, John Buclianon, Sr., John Kennedy, Jr., John 
Castello, Kobert Thompson, and Sampson Williams. A num- 
ber of other preemptioners had, indeed, remained in the county, 
and shared in all the dangers which had threatened it; but they 
had made their entries and had paid the ]3urchase money, and 
were therefore not embraced in this act. 

An office was opened for receiving entries of preemption 
rights, and another for entering and surveying the claims of. the 
officers and soldiers upon the warrants which were so directed 
to issue to them from the Secretary's office. 

But as the affairs of the Cumberland settlers seemed to bright- 
en the Spanish became sullen. They began to intimate that 
their territorial limits toward Georgia included the greater part 
of the Creek Nation, and that the boundary of their territory 
was several degrees north of latitude thirty-one. Whilst these 
States were in the childhood of independence the conduct of the 
S^janiards toward them implied that they had not yet acquired 
any knowledge of international law, or were too weak to resent 
tlie infraction of its rulers. It is an obvious law among nations 
that one sovereignty shall not treat with inhabitants residing 
upon the territories of another, nor take them under protec- 
tion, much less receive from them a stipulation that its govern- 
mental orders and municipal laws shall be obeyed by them. 
Yet noAv such was the conduct of Spain toward the State of 

On the Ist of June, 1784, in the fort of Pensacola, the capital 
of West Florida, Gov. Mero, Gov. Oneille, and Don Navarro, 
on behalf of the Spanish crown on the one side, and Alexander 
McGillivray for the Creek nation on the other, made and signed 
a treaty by which the Creek nation engaged to maintain invi- 
olable peace with the Spaniards; to expose their lives and fo^'t- 
unes for the King of Spain; to obey the orders which should 
be received from the Governor of Louisiana or Florida, and 
the laws of the great King of Spain in points compatible with 
the character and circumstances of the Creeks, who should con- 
form themselves to the municipal usages and customs, estab- 
lished or to be established, in Louisiana and both Floridas. 
The treaty speaks of the Tallapuche Nation, who were on the 
lands conquered by the arms- of the Kii^g of Spain, and engages 
to establish a permanent commerce for them. The Creeks were 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 221 

to establish a general peace with the Chickasaws and Choctaws, 
and others of the continent. They engaged also to arrest all 
strangers coming into their country advising them to take up 
arms against the King of Si:)ain, and not to admit into their 
towns any white persons without a Spanish passport. They en- 
gaged further to desist from the practice of taking scalps and 
of making slaves of the whites; and, in case of a war against 
the enemies of the King of Spain, such persons as they should 
make prisoners should be well treated until they should be ex- 
changed. They agreed to deliver up all white prisoners who 
were citizens of the United States of America. They were not 
to admit deserters or fugitive slaves from Louisiana or Florida 
into their country, and were to prevent thefts by the Creeks as 
much as possible. The King of Spain guaranteed to them all 
the lands which they possessed within his limits; and, in case 
of dispossession of their lands by his enemies, he engaged to 
give them other equivalent lauds. All the regulations appli- 
cable to a state of war, and the provision to take effect in case 
of the expulsion of the Indians from their country, seemed to 
look forward to a contest with some neighboring people, whom 
the Creeks might kill or capture, or by whom they might be 
driven from their country. The people -who were thus in con- 
templation, having no such anticipations, had not yet thought 
of any counteracting plan. Whether at the date of this treaty 
or soon afterward any mischievous designs were infused into 
the minds of the Indians will be best understood by their pos- 
terior conduct. As they promised in all things to obey the 
Spanish authorities, they would certainly have obeyed the order 
for them to be at peace with the people of Cumberland, if any 
such they had received. And as it was not stipulated that the 
Creeks should be at peace with them, as well as with the Chick- 
asaws and Choctaws, it is evident that their conduct toward the 
people of Cumberland was to be regulated by orders, which the 
Spanish government should issue. Although these Spanish 
transactions were kept secret from the people of Cumberland, 
Col. Robertson entertained the suspicion that Spanish jealousy 
was the cause of Indian hostilities, and accordingly he pursued 
all such measures as were best calculated to inspire the Spanish 
officers with a confidence in the amicable inclinations toward 
them of the new settlers on the Cumberland. Colbert and some 

222 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

of his people, for some cause, had made seizures of Spanish 
property, which the Spaniards called robbery. Robertson im- 
mediately wrote to Mr. Portell in October, 1784, to convince him 
that none of the people of Cumberland had any share in these 
violences; and offered, if he could be furnished with proof to 
identify the property, and could find it in the possession of the 
Chickasaws, to cause it to be restored to the owners. Portell, 
in reply, was very sensible of the high character which the 
American people bad and justly deserved for integrity and 
justice; and was perfectly satisfied that the people of Cumber- 
land never had any co-operation with those brigands, as he 
called them; but, on the contrary, that they participated in suf- 
fering from the evils which the Spaniards sustained from those 
vagabonds. "Colbert and his people," said he "are carrying on 
a war by robbery and pillage everywhere, and he has so large a 
number of persons under his command that it is impossible to 
make proof of those who are the owners of the negroes in their 
possession whom Col. Robertson had described." Mr. Portell 
not only expi'essed very feelingly his grateful sensations for the 
amicable behavior of the people of Cumberland, but promised 
to maintain the most friendly disposition on his side, and would 
experience much pleasure in being useful to the colonel and his 
people, and of convincing the latter of the high consideration in 
which he held him. 

The Indians through the course of this year made incursions 
into the Cumberland settlements for the purpose of killing and 
plundering the inhabitants. Early in this year they killed 
Philip Trammell and Philip Mas^n, whose names are mentioned 
in the legislative act of the May session of 1784, providing for 
the uncertificated preemptioners. As one among a thousand 
specimens of the unequaled fortitude and gallantry of the first 
settlers, it is proper to give a recitation of the conflict in which 
they ended their existence. These two men at the head of 
White's Creek had killed a deer, and were skinning it. The In- 
dians stole up to the place and fired upon them. They wounded 
Mason, and carried off the venison. Trammell got assistance 
from Eaton's Station, and followed the Indians. He came up 
with them. They fought, and he killed two of them ; but other 
Indians coming up with their horses in possession, the whites 
were once more obliged to retreat, after Mason had received the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 223 

second ball, whicli proved fatal. Trammell found some other 
while men in the woods, whom he induced to go with him back 
to the place where the Indians were. They found the latter, 
and immediately renewed the fight. They killed three Indians, 
and fought till both parties were tired. Trammell and Josiah 
Hoskins, enthusiastically courageous, and bent upon making 
their enemy yield the palm of victory, preciijitated themselves 
into the midst of the retreating Indians, and received the fruit 
of their temerity. They fell by the hands of the foe. The rest 
of the white men maintained their ground until both parties 
were willing to respire from their martial labors. Aspie is an- 
other of the names mentioned in the same obituary catalogue, 
and his case, too, is deserving of particular notice. He, together 
with Andrew Lucas, Thomas S. Spencer, and one Johnston, had 
left the bluff on horseback to go on a hunting tour, and had 
proceeded to the head waters of Drake's Creek, in crossing 
which their horses stopped to drink. At this moment a party 
of Indians came up and fired upon them, when j^hey had no sus- 
picion that any Indians were in the vicinity. Lucas was shot 
through the neck and through the mouth. He dismouiited, how- 
ever, with the rest, but in attempting to fire the blood gushed 
out of his mouth and wet his i)riming. Perceiving this, he 
crawled into a bunch of briers. Aspie, as he alighted from his 
horse, received a wound which broke his thigh, but still he 
fought heroicall}^ Johnston and Spencer acquitted themselves 
with incomparable gallantry, but were obliged to give Avay, and 
to leave' Aspie to his fate, though he entreated them earnestly 
not to forsake him. The Indians killed and scalped Aspie, but 
did not find Lucas, who shortly afterward returned to his 
friends. The whole family of the Aspies were superlatively 
brave. The brother of this one was killed in the battle at the 
bluff. When he first fell he placed himself in a position to 
reach a loaded gun, with which he shot the Indian that ran to 
scalp him. Spencer in the heat of the engagement was shot, 
but the ball split on the bone of his arm and saved his life. 

In the year 1784 the Indians killed Cornelius Eiddle, near 
Buchanon's Station, on a small path leading to Stone's River, by 
the place where Maj. Hall's plantation now is. He had killed' 

224 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

two turkeys and hung them up on a tree, and had gone off into 
the woods to hunt for more. The Indians, hearing the report 
of his gun, came to the place and, finding tlie turkeys, lay in 
ambush where they were, and on Riddle's coming to take them 
away they fired upon and killed him. 

In the year 1785 Moses Brown was killed by the Indians, near 
the place on Richland Creek where Jesse Wharton, Esq., now 
lives, then called Brown's Station. In this year, also, the In- 
dians killed Edmund Hickman, a surveyor. They came upon 
him in that part of the country which is now Hickman County, 
on Piney River, whither he, Col. Robertson, and Col. Weakly 
had gone in company to survey entered lands. In this year, 
also, they killed a man who lived with William Stuart, on the 
plantation where Judge Haywood now lives, in the forks of Mill 
Creek, on that part of the plantation where John Buchanon once 

The Assembly of North Carolina, which began its session on 
the 19th of November, 1786, and ended it on the 29th of De- 
cember, of the same year, made several important provisions for 
the Cumberland settlements. They established an inspection of 
tobacco in the county of Davidson; but how the raisers of to- 
bacco expected to sell, prohibited as they were by Spain from 
navigating the Mississippi below the 31st degree of latitude, the 
Assembly neither knew nor inquired. But as the inspection cost 
no money to be paid out by the public treasury, they were will- 
ing as well in that as in other costless experiments to gratify the 
wishes of the Cumberland settlers. The members of Davidson, 
on account of the good offices they could do for those who wished 
to become the owners of land on the Cumberland, and to have 
the military warrants which they had purchased well located 
and attended to, were regarded and treated with great attention. 
Hardly any request they made was rejected, if it only abstained 
from interference with the public coffers. In all Legislatures 
there is a class of members who idolize the contents of the pub- 
lic chest, having nothing to allege in support of their claims to 
popular favor but a disposition to save money on all occasions, 
while to all other subjects they have the most consummate indif- 
ference. Dexterously using the advantages which these circum- 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 225 

stances put into their possession, Col. Robertson, a member of 
the Legislature, did not fail to improve them to the beneht of 
his suffering constituents. They passed an act establishing the 
Davidson Academy; a2)pointed trustees and made them a corpo- 
ration; exempted the lands of the academy from taxation for 
ninety-nine years, aiid vested in them, for the use of the semi- 
nary, two hundred and forty acres of the lands reserved for the 
use of the State, being that part of the French Lick tract which 
is most remote from the Salt Springs, near Nashville. They 
passed a law, also, to establish a Superior Court of law and eq- 
uity in the county of Davidson, the first session of which was to 
commence on the first Monday in May, 1876. They appointed a 
young man of the age of twenty-four years to be the judge of 
this court, who, upon more mature reflection becoming fearful 
that his small experience and stock of legal acquirements were 
inadequate to the performance of those great duties which the 
office devolved upon him, chose rather to resign than to risk the 
injustice to suitors, which others of better qualifications might 
certainly avoid. The act provided that no person in the county 
of Davidson should be subject to any action in any of the courts 
on the east side of the Appalachian Mountains, and that no per- 
son on that side of the mountain should be subjected to any ac- 
tion in the county of Davidson. According to the established 
usage of that day, the Assembly did not neglect to provide that 
the salary of the judge should be paid by the County Treasurer 
of Davidson. They also passed a law to prevent the distillation 
of spirituous liquors in the county of Davidson for a limited 
time. Crops were short and grain scarce, owing to the obstruc- 
tion of agriculture by the withdrawal of the planters to oppose 
the infesting savages, and sound discretion required that the 
grain should be preserved for the subsistence of the settlers and 
of the new emigrants upon their arrival. 

An event now took place which afforded the hope that Indian 
hostility would considerably abate for the future. On the 2Stli 
of November, 1785, the United States on the one hand and the 
Cherokees on the other, concluded a treaty at Hopewell, in the 
Keowee, in which it was stated that the United States gave 
peace to the Cherokees and received them into favor and pro- 
tection under certain conditions. The Cherokees acknowledged 
thernselves to be under the protection of the United States, and 

226 haywooe's history of Tennessee. 

of no other sovereign. They promised to restore all the prison- 
ers and negroes they had taken; and any o£ their people made 
prisoners were to be restored. Their boundaries were fixed, as 
in the first chapter of this book is stated, by which a great part 
of the lands entered in the offices opened in 1783 for receiving- 
entries of vacant lands were made to be within the Indian ter- 
ritory. It was engaged that the lands secured to them by this 
treaty shall not be settled on by the white people, who for ob- 
stinate intrusion should be liable to be punished by the Indians 
as they might think proper, with an exception in favor of the oc- 
cupants on the south of the French Broad and the Holston, who, 
as well as the Indians, were to abide by the decision of Congress 
on their case. They were bound to deliver up capital offenders 
who took refiige amongst them. For capital offenses commit- 
ted against them by the white people the offenders were to be 
punished in the presence of some of the Cherokees in the same 
manner as they would be for like offenses committed on citizens 
of the United States. And they agreed not to retaliate on the 
innocent for crimes committed by the guilty. It was agreed that 
Congress should regulate their trade, but in the meantime trad- 
ers were to be received and well treated, and the Indians were to 
give notice of any hostile designs formed by other tribes or by 
other persons, and the Indians were to send a deputy of their own 
choice to Congress whenever they thought proper. Friendship 
was to be forever re-established and maintained to the utmost of 
their power by both parties. 

The treaty of Hopewell gave great umbrage to all the South- 
ern States. William Blount, Esq., then in Congress from North 
Carolina, determined to give it all the oj^position in his j)ower. 
He deemed it beyond the power of Congress to make a treaty 
repugnant to the laws of North Carolina concerning lands and 
boundaries within her limits. Such power, he contended, was 
not given to Congress by the Articles of Confederation. In this 
year the Cumberland settlements remained stationary, but upon 
renewal of friendship with the Cherokees it was expected that 
they would soon begin again to progress, and that there would 
be a great accession of new settlers in the year 1786. But the 
year 1786 was not without its troubles, though it was not so 
fruitful in the destruction of the settlers and in the abundance 
of disasters to be recorded in the pages of history as former 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 227 

3'ears had been. By the treaty of Hopewell much had been giv- 
en up to purchase the good-will of the Cherokees. The bounda- 
ries of the whites were greatly contracted, and extensive coun- 
ties resigned, which were included in the treaty at Fort Stanwix, 
and in the deed to Henderson, the benefit of wliich North Car- 
olina was entitled to, having paid him with lands in Powell's 
Valley for his trouble and expenses in negotiating and making 
the treaty for the safety of the Cherokees, and the purchase by 
him and his companions of the lands contained in his deed. 
Although no purchase could be made from the Indians but by 
public authority and for public uses, yet a purchase made by in- 
dividuals might be deemed obligatory on the Indians and be con- 
verted by public authority to public uses. The prohibition was 
not made for the benefit of the Indians, but of the State, which 
might either ratify it or not as the public good required. This 
purchase covered a great part of the lands renounced by the 
treaty of Hopewell. The concessions made by this treaty to the 
Indians may have contributed to that abatement of savage cru- 
elties which characterized the year 1786. The Creek aggres- 
sions, however, proceeded without alleviation. They had waged 
a deadly war against the Georgians for five or six years then last 
passed, and had so much annoyed them as to make the restora- 
tion of peace a very desirable event. For some time after the 
treaty of Hopewell they were the principal marauders and plun- 
derers of the Cumberland settlements, and the chief perpetra- 
tors of all the massacres committed on the settlers. 

In this 3'ear the settlements were not extended, but the num- 
ber of the inhabitants increased. James Harrison, William 
Hall, and W. Gibson settled above Bledsoe's Lick, and Charles 
Morgan at Morgan's Station, on the west side of Bledsoe's 
Creek, four or five miles from the Lick. The Indians killed 
Peter Barnet below Clarksville on the waters of Blooming 
Grove; also David Steele, and wounded William Crutcher, and 
went off leaving a knife sticking in him, but he recovered. On 
the creek now called Defeated Creek, in Smith County, on the 
north side of Cumberland River, John Peyton, a surveyor, 
Ephraim Peyton, Thomas Pugh, and John Frazier had com- 
menced their surveys and had made a camp. Whilst they were 
all asleep at the camp, in the night-time, about midnight, snow 
being upon the ground, on the 2d of March, a great number of 

228 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Indians surrounded the camp and began to fire upon it. Before 
tliey were perceived they wounded four out of the five. Tlie 
whole party of wliites ran tlirough tiiem and made their escape 
and got Jiome. The Indians took their horses, compass, chain, 
blankets, saddles, and bridles, and went off. Ever since that 
time this creek has been called Defeated Creek. The Indians 
who committed this depredation were Cherokees. 

The Assembly of North Carolina, at their session which com- 
menced at Fayetteville on the 18th of November, 1786, taking 
notice of the frequent acts of hostility committed by the Indians 
on the inhabitants of Davidson County for a considerable time 
past, and that necessity required the taking of some measures 
for their protection, enacted, at the instance of Col. James Rob- 
ertson, who devised, directed the drawing of, and introduced the 
bill, that three hundred men should be embodied and stationed 
in, Davidson to protect the inhabitants and to be employed 
in cutting a road from the Clinch River to Nashville. They 
ordered four hundred acres of land to be laid off and allotted to 
each soldier in full satisfaction of the half of the first year's pay, 
and in the same proportion for the time that he should serve over 
and above one year, in full satisfaction of the one-half of the pay 
that should be due him for such further service; such lands to be 
in some part of North Carolina, west of the Cumberland Mount- 
ains. Proportionate allowances in lands were made to the offi- 
cers for the pay they might be entitled to, and they inserted the 
indispensable clause that the moneys arising from the tax of 
lands west of the Appalachian Mountains should be appropriat- 
ed to the purpose of discharging the expenses of raising and 
clothing armies, and supporting the troops to be embodied in 
pursuance of this act; the surplus, if any, to be carried to the 
contingent fund. And they provided furtlier, by way of clearly 
intimating what would be their future conduct upon similar sub- 
jects, that in all returns of taxable property made by receivers 
of lists and clerks of courts, they shall particularly specify the 
lands situated west of the Cumberland Mountains, that the net 
produce of the revenue arising therefrom may be ascertained; 
as much as to say, be it understood, that beyond it we will not 
go for the satisfaction of any debts contracted in the mainte- 
nance and protection of these new settlements. The troops, 
when raised, were to be marched from time to time into the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 229 

Cumberland settlements, and the field officers of Davidson 
County were to give directions for tlie disposition of said troops 
in sncli proportions and at such places as might be deemed 
most likely to intimidate the Indians and prevent their incur- 
sions into the Cumberland settlements. But, nevertheless, the 
commanding officer of the troops, in cases of emergency, or 
when the situation of affairs or alteration of circumstances 
should render it immediately necessary, was at liberty to make 
such other disposition of them as should be deemed most condu- 
cive to the safety of the inhabitants. And it was ordered that 
the troops when assembled to the lower end of Clinch Mount- 
ain should cut and clear a road from thence the nearest, most 
correct, and convenient way to the town of Nashville, making the 
same at least ten feet wide and fit for the passage of wagons and 
carts. The road was laid off and opened in the next year. Two 
years' further time was given for completing the surveys of 
western lands, and two years' further time for the registration of 
military grants, xlt this session also, the county of Sumner 
was made out of part of the county of Davidson. The line of di- 
vision began wdiere the county line crosses the west fork of Stone's 
River; thence a direct line to the mouth of Drake's Lick Creek; 
thence down the Cumberland River to the mouth of Casper's 
Creek; thence up the said creek to the head of the War Trace 
Fork; thence a northwardly course to the Virginia line, at a point 
that will leave Red River Old Station one mile to the east. All 
that part of Davidson which lay east of this line was thereafter 
to be considered as the county of Sumner. This name was given 
as a testimony of respect and gratitude to Brig.-Gen. Jethro 
Sumner, of the North Carolina line, who continued during the 
whole war in the service of his country, acting a distinguished 
part in the greater number of the hottest actions which had tak- 
en place during the war, and was as eminent for personal valor 
as he was for his equanimity and suavity of manners. His 
name is precious in the estimation of his countrymen. It is en- 
graved on their hearts in characters of imperishable duration. 

In 1787 the settlements were not extended, but continued as 
they had been for some time except toward Red River, where 
they had visibly and considerably expanded. The Indians were 
not idle in distributing amongst the new settlers the tokens of 
their virulent indisposition toward them. In this year, at Hen- 

230 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

drick's Station, on Station Camp Creek, the Indians came in the 
night, and assaulted the station. They broke into a house in 
■which were Price and his wife and family. They killed the old 
man and woman, and chopped the children, and left them 
wounded. Tbey killed a boy by the name of Baird on Station 
Camp Creek, near the head of it, in the day-time, and stole sev- 
eral horses there. They killed William Hall and his son Rich- 
ard, near the locust land, where Gen. Hall now lives, above 
Bledsoe's Lick. They also killed another man at the same 
place. These men were brought dead into Bledsoe's Lick Sta- 
tion, with their blood upon them, in the presence of three preg- 
nant women, who were afterward delivered of their children, all 
of whom were marked, one as if a bullet had been shot through 
the head; and the others upon the backs of their necks, with 
red streaks resembling blood running from the head where the 
scalp had been taken. 

In the summer of 1787 a party of Indians came to Drake's 
Creek, where William Montgomery lived, and shot down his son, 
and scalped hira; they also shot John Allen through the body. 
About this time, in the same neighborhood, they killed old Mr. 
Morgan, and were pursued by a party of white men under the 
command of George Winchester, who followed on their trail. 
Another party, under the command of Capt. William Martin, 
also followed them, and went to take their trail by a nearer 
route. He encamped near the trail, not having found it. The 
other party, on the same night, came on the trail; and, seeing 
the camp of Martin, fired upon it, and killed William Ridley, 
the son of George Ridley, now of Davidson. 

In the month of May of this year (1787), a few days before 
the embodying and marching of troops to Coldwater, the In- 
dians came to Richland Creek, and in the day-time killed Mark 
Robertson (near the place where Robertson's Mill now stands) 
as he was returning home from the residence of Col. Robertson, 
his brother. In a few days afterward, shoi'tly after the begin- 
ning of June, one hundred and thirty men assembled from the 
different settlements on the Cumberland River at Col. Robert- 
son's, under his command, who, being assisted by Col. Robert 
Hays and Col. James Ford, marched for the Indian town. Cold- 
water, with two Chickasaws to' lead them to the Creeks and 
Cherokees. They crossed at the mouth of South Harper; thence 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 231 

they went iu a direct course to the mouth of Turnbull's Creek; 
theuce up the same to the head; and thence to Lick Creek, of 
Duck Piiver; theuce down the creek seven or eight miles, leav- 
ing the creek to the right hand; thence to an old lick as large 
as a corn-field; thence to Duck Biver, where the old Chickasaw 
trace crossed it; thence, leaving the trace to the right hand, 
they went to the head of Swan Creek, on the south side of Duck 
Kiver; thence to a* creek running into the Tennessee River, 
which the troops then called Blue Water. It ran into the Ten- 
nessee about a mile and a half above the lower end of the Mus- 
cle Shoals. They left this creek on the left hand. When with- 
in ten miles of the river they heard the roaring of the falls. 
One of the Indian guides, with several of the most active sol- 
diers, were ordered to go to the river, but returned about mid- 
night, saying that the river was too distant for them to reach 
that night and return. In the morning they pursued the same 
course they had done the day before. At 12 o'clock they struck 
the river at the lower end of the Muscle Shoals, where it is said 
the road now crosses, and concealed themselves in the woods 
till night. On the north side of the river, on a bluff, was a plain 
path leading down the river, which seemed to be much traveled. 
On the south side of the river were' cabins on the bank. Six or 
seven of the soldiers went down privately to the bank, and con- 
cealed themselves in the cane to observe whatever could be seen 
on the opposite side. After some time they saw on the south 
side some Indians looking for the troops under Col. E-obertson. 
They passed into an island near the south side, where they took 
an old canoe and came half-way over the river. They then 
stopped and swam and washed themselves, and returned to the 
same place with the canoe they had taken it from, and tied it 
there. Capt. Bains was sent with fifteen men up the river on 
the path, with orders from Col. Bobertson to take an Indian 
alive. Capt. Bains went on the path toward the mouth of Blue 
Water Creek. About sunset Col. Bobertson recalled him. In 
the whole day they heard no cocks crowing or dogs barking. 
The whole body of troops was called together on the north side 
of the river to cross over at night. Tiiey went to the low lands 
on the bank of the river. The seven men who had watched in 
the cane in the day now swam over the river and went to the 
cabins, and no living being was there. They untied the canoe 

232 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

and came over to the north si<le. Forty men with fire-arms were 
put into the canoe. The hole which they had stopped with their 
shirts now opened, and the canoe began to sink. The swimmers 
carried her to the north bank. In these operations some noise 
had been made, and the troops were obliged to remain on the 
north side till daylight. They got a piece of bark of the lynn- 
tree and covered the hole in the canoe, and screwed in nails 
npon it. They sent forty or fifty men in th^ canoe to take pos- 
session of the bank on the other side. They did so. The re- 
mainder of the troops went over, swimming and swimming their 
horses. Having crossed the river, they hung up their clothes 
to dry. A rain came up and forced them into the cabins. Aft- 
er some time the clouds cleared away, and they saw a plain path 
leading from the river out into the barrens in a western direc- 
tion. They took this path and followed it briskly, and at the 
distance of five and a half miles they came to corn-fields; thence 
going a mile or two farther they came to a large creek called the 
Coldwater, toward which the lands had descended two or three 
hundred yards. They passed it instantly by a path wide enough 
for a horse to go up the bank. On the other side, to which they 
had then passed, were a number of cabins and low grounds 
which descended to the river about three hundred yards below. 
The people of the town ran down to the boats in the river, and 
were pursued by snch of the troops as had crossed. Capt. Rains, 
with Benjamin Castleman, William Loggins, William Steele, 
and Martin Duncan, went down the creek on the right side to 
the river. The retreating Indians, as they ran down on the oth- 
er side and had their attention drawn to those who pursued 
them on the same side, crossed over and came to the spot where 
Rains and his men were, wdio fired upon them as they looked 
back without perceiving the snare into which they had fallen. 
Three of them dropped down dead. The troops killed three 
French traders and a white woman who had gotten into a boat 
and would not surrender, but mixed with the Indians and 
seemed determined to partake of their fate, whatever it might 
be. They wounded and took the principal trader and owner of 
.the goods and five or six other Frenchmen who lived there as 
traders and had in the town stores of tafia, sugar, coffee, cloths, 
blankets, Indian wares of all sorts, boxes full of salt, shot, Indian 
paints, knives, powder, tomahawks, tobacco, and other articles 


suitable to Indian commerce. The troops killed many of the In- 
dians who had gotten into the boats, and gave them so hot and 
deadly a fire from the bank of the river that they were forced to 
jump into the water and were fired upon whilst in it until, as 
they afterward learned from the Chickasaws, twenty-six of the 
Creeks were killed in the river. The troops burned up all the 
cabins in the town, and killed all the fowls and hogs which they 
found in a pen. But before this, they collected all the boats to 
one place from the river into a creek opposite the town, where a 
party was placed over them. The creek there was twenty or 
more yards wide and as deep as the saddle-skirts of a rider 
crossing on horseback. Next morning they gave a horse to 
each of the Indian guides, giving them the second choice; also as 
many blankets and other cloths as they could jjack, a gun 
apiece, and dispatched them to their homes. The name of one 
of these Chickasaws was Toka. The troops lay near the town 
all night on the side of the creek opposite to it; and the next 
day, after burying the w^hite men and woman, they loaded three 
or four boats with the prisoners, consisting of five or six French- 
men and a child, and with the goods taken in the town, and put- 
ting on board the boats to navigate them Jonathan Denton, 
Benjamin Drake, John Eskridge, and Moses Eskridge, they 
were sent down the river, whilst the troops marched down by 
land, looking for some convenient place to cross over to the 
north side, whither the boats were to come and assist them in 
crossing. At the same time that the boats started down the riv- 
er the troops began their march by land; but not being ac- 
quainted with the winding of the river, the course they took car- 
ried them farther from it than they intended, into the piney 
woods, where they encamped. The next day they went to the 
river, where they saw at a distance several persons on the islands 
of the river, who proved to be their own boatmen, but neither 
knew the other till some of the boatmen came from the island to 
the troops on the bank. The troops then moved down the river 
a few miles, and came to a place just above the point of an isl- 
and, where the descent to the river was easy and convenient for 
embarkation, and where the bank on the opposite side afforded a 
safe landing. Here, with the assistance of the boats, they 
crossed not very far from what is now Colbert's Ferry,, and they • 
encamped all together on the north side of the river. There 

234 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

they found that they had not lost a single man, and that not one 
man was wounded. After remaining there all night, the next 
morning they gave to the French prisoners all their trunks and 
all their wearing apparel, and made a division of the sugar and 
coffee amongst the troops and the Frenchmen and the Indian 
squaw, giving to each of them an equal share. They gave to 
the Frenchmen and squaw a canoe, bid them farewell, and they 
went up the river. The dry goods were ordered under the care 
of the same boatmen to Nashville. Sailing upon the river some 
days, they met other French boats laden with goods, and with 
French traders on board, who, being greatly rejoiced to meet 
their countrymen returning home, as they supposed the Cum- 
berland boatmen to be, fired off their guns. The latter going 
down the river with their guns charged, came alongside of the 
French boats, boarded them, and captured the boats and crews, 
and conducted them to a place a few miles below Nashville. 
There the captors gave them a canoe and dismissed them with 
permission to go down the river, which they did. The goods 
taken at Coldwater were brought to Eaton's Station and sold, 
and the proceeds were divided amongst the troops. They re- 
turned to Col. Robertson's on the nineteenth day after the com- 
mencement of the expedition at his house. After crossing the 
Tennessee on their returning march, they came nearly a north 
course till they struck the path that led to the Chickasaw old 
crossing on Duck River, where they crossed in going out; 
thence they returned on the same trace they had followed in their 
march to the south. 

After this expedition there was a short respite from savage 
visitation. Before it commenced a few days, there was not an 
hour of safety to any settler on the Cumberland waters. The 
vengeance so long delayed at length had fallen with fatal effect 
upon those who had so frequently provoked it. At Coldwater 
Col. Robertson discovered the sources whence the Indians were 
supplied with the material which enabled them to make inroads 
upon the new settlements; the means by which and the channels 
through which they received them, and the practicable mode of 
cutting them off when necessary, as well as the facility of seiz- 
ing upon the stores when deposited in villages near the place of 
disembarkation. The advantages acquired by this expedition 
were various and important, and by putting the Indians in dan- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 235 

ger at home greatly dimiiiislied the vivacity of their enterprises 
against the settlers. 

When the troops- began their march for the Coldwater from 
Col. Robertson's, David Hay, of Nashville, had the command of 
a company, and concluded to go by water and carry provisions 
for the main body, which it was expected might be needed on 
their arrival at the Tennessee River, and particularly in case of 
detention in the neighborhood for a longer time than was an- 
ticipated. Hay and his men went in their boats as far as the 
mouth of Duck River without interruption. When they got 
there, the boat commanded by Moses Shelby went into the 
mouth of Duck River to examine a canoe tied or fastened to the 
bank. The Indians had concealed themselves in the cane and 
behind the trees, not more than ten or twelve steps from the ca- 
noe, and from the boat itself when it came to the canoe. From 
this thicket the Indians poured an unexpected fire into the boat, 
shooting John Top and Hugh Roquering through the body. 
They broke Edward Hogan's arm by a ball shot through it; Jo- 
siah Renfroe they shot through the head, and killed him on the 
spot. The boat made haste to get off, but being with her stern 
up the small river, and several of the crew being wholly disabled, 
and some of them greatly dismayed by the sudden fire and de- 
struction which had come upon them, acted in disorder, and 
with great difiiculty got again into the Tennessee, out of the 
reach of the Indian guns, before they could reload and fire a 
second time. Otherwise, it is probable that by this rash and 
unadvised act in going to the canoe the whole crew would have 
become victims to Indian ferocity and stratagem; for, whatever 
may be said of the Indian character, it is a truth that they excel 
in invention, readiness, and presence of mind, and in plans to 
draw in and surprise an enemy. In these qualities it is proba- 
ble that they are not surpassed by any nation on the earth, either 
ancient or modern. The boats were so disabled by this mishap 
that they were under the necessity of returning with the Avound- 
ed men to Nashville, where only proper surgical and medical as- 
sistance could be obtained. They did so, abandoning the object 
which they had in view when they set off from the bluff. 

Col. Robertson, soon after the affair at Coldwater, made a 
written exposition of the causes and motives which led io it, and 
directed it to a person of note at the Illinois. He stated in it 

236 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

that for some years past a trade had been carried on by some 
Frenchmen from the Wabash with the Indians on the Tennessee. 
The trade had been formerly managed by a Mr. Veiz, "and 
while he carried it on the Indians were peaceable toward us; 
but for two or three years these Indians have been inimical at 
all seasons, killing our men, women, and children, and stealing 
our horses." He had sufficient evidence of the fact, also, that 
these Indians were excited to war against us by the suggestions 
of these traders, who both advised them to war and gave them 
goods for carrying it on. The Ohickasaws had told him that 
they had been offered goods by these traders if they would go 
to war against us; and one John Rogers declared that he had 
seen a Creek fellow have on a pair of arm-bands, which he (the 
Creek fellow) said were given to him by the French traders for 
going to war against us. "The incursions upon us this sj)riug," 
said he, "have been more severe than usual, and I determined 
to distress them." For this purpose he stated that he had taken 
a part of the militia of Davidson County, followed the tracks of 
one of their scalping parties, who had just been doing murder 
here; and, following them to a town on the Tennessee, at the 
mouth of the Coldwater, destroyed the town and killed, as he 
supposed, about twenty of the Indians. The scalps of two of 
our men whom they had lately murdered were iu the town. 
Some of the French imprudently put themselves into the action, 
and some few of them fell. From that place he sent a party 
around to the Cumberland River by water. In the Tennessee 
they found five Frenchmen with two boats, having goods to 
trade with those very Indians. The commander of the party 
took the boats with the men, and brought them around to this 
river; and gave them their choice, to come up to the settlement 
and stand trial for what they had done, and thereby to try to re- 
gain their goods, or else that they might go home at once with- 
out their goods. They chose the latter. "The taking of these 
boats," said Col. Robertson, "was without my knowledge or ap- 
probation. I am now endeavoring to collect the property which 
was in them." And he desired that the owners be notified that 
if they could make it appear that they were not guilty of a 
breach of the laws, and did not intend to furnish our enemies 
with powder, lead, and other goods for our destruction, on ap- 
plying here at Nashville they might have their property again. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 237 

He declared tliat if these Indians would be peaceable we slioiild 
never attempt to deprive them of any trade they could procure; 
"but while they continue at war," said he, "any traders who fur- 
nish them with arms and ammunition will render themselves 
very insecure.'' 

The pride of the Indians was exceedingly mortified at this fear- 
less irruption into their country. Soon after their rout and dis- 
comfiture at Coldwater they collected in small bodies, crossed the 
Tennessee River to the north side, and commenced an undistin- 
guishing carnage upon the settlers of all ages and sexes. Capt. 
Shannon, with a small body of white men, pursued one party of 
them. The Indians had reached the banks of the Tennessee, and 
some were eating, while others were making preparations to cross 
the river. Shannon and his little corps discovered those who were 
eating, and fired and rushed upon them. Castleman killed one. 
Another, j:- roving too strong, took Luke Anderson's gun from 
him; but before he could discharge it William Pillow, since a 
colonel of Maury County, shot the Indian and recovered the gun. 
The Indians who were out of the camp were commanded by Big 
Foot, a leader of determined bravery. Under his command they 
resolved to attack the whites, believing from the report of the 
guns which had been fired that they were few in number. The 
whites were also a daring set, whom the presence of danger 
could not move. A doubtful conflict ensued; but victory, for 
some time wavering, at length declared for the whites. They 
killed the chief of the Indians and five of his followers. The 
rest raised the yell, and took to the bushes. 

Shortly before the last of July, 1787, Mr. Perrault, on his 
way from Nashville to the Cherokees, met two hundred Creeks, 
going, as they said, to take satisfaction for three persons whom 
the North Carolina people killed when they defeated him (Per- 
rault) eighteen miles below Chota. He delivered and expound- 
ed to them the letter which Col. Robertson had given to him for 
their nation, and did all in his power to turn them back; but in 
vain. They persevered in progressing, saying, however, that 
they would not do much harm this time; but that if the North 
Carolina people should go in force into their country, or should 
kill any of their nation after the blow which they meant to give 
the people of the Cumberland, they might expect a merciless 

238 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Maj. Evans had been appointed, with the rank of major, to 
the command of the battalion ordered to be raised for the pro- 
tection of Davidson. By the arrival of these troops, who came 
in successive detachments, and by some emigration from North 
Carolina and other States, the population having become aug- 
mented, Col. Robertson was enabled to select and detach a cer- 
tain portion to act as patrols or spies, as they were then called. 
It was their business to go through the woods from the frontiers 
of the settlements, in every direction and to every place where 
there was an Indian or buffalo trace, and to the crossing-places 
on the rivers and creeks to look for Indians and their tracks, or 
the trails they had left in going through the woods. At that 
time the canes and weeds grew up so spontaneously and luxuri- 
antly in all parts of the country that two or three men, even 
without horses, could not pass through without leaving a trace, 
discernible without any uncertainty, which might be followed 
without danger of mistake. Among those whom Col, Robertson 
selected for the performance of this service was Capt. John 
Rains. He was led to this choice b}^ the entire confidence he 
had learned by experience to j^lace in his diligence and prowess. 
He very often selected Capt. Rains, and gave him his orders, 
which were uniformly, punctually, and promptly executed, and 
with a degree of bravery which could not be exceeded. 

In the month of April the Indians killed Randel Gentry, at 
the place where Mr. Foster now lives; also, Curtis Williams and 
Thomas Fletcher and his son, about the mouth of the Harper. 
Col. Robertson issued orders to Capt. Rains to pursue the doers 
of that mischief. Capt. Rains immediately raised sixty men and 
followed them, getting upon their trace and pursuing it, which 
led them across Mill Creek; thence to Big Harper, where a road 
now crosses it; thence to the Fishing Ford of Duck River; 
thence to Elk River, at the mouth of Swan Creek; thence into 
the barrens and to Flint River. Not being able to overtake 
them, he turned off the trace and went westwardly till he struck 
McCutchin's trace. Before coming to Elk River, he saw the 
tracks of Indians going toward Nashville. At Elk River, 
where McCutchin's trace crosses, near Latitude Hill, he found 
the camp which they had left in the morning of the day on 
which he had come to the Elk. That night he halted six miles 
from the river, and lay all night at the place, but sent on two or 


three men to see that they were at such a distance as not to 
hear his company while they were talking and cntting wood. 
They returned and reported that the Indians were not within 
hearing. Next morning he followed them,' and in the afternoon 
came to the place where they had encamped the preceding 
night, and where they had cleared the ground of leaves and 
brush and had danced upon the place cleared. They had made 
forks all around, and placed small poles in them, on which their 
guns rested — a circumstance to show that in these perilous 
times it was considered dangerous and imprudent to he at any 
distance beyond arms - length from their accouterments and 
guns. The troops passed by, and, crossing Duck Eiver at the 
months of Globe and Fountain Creeks, encamped at night on the 
north side of it, about two miles from the river. Next morning 
they renewed their march, and at the distance of six miles, on 
the waters of Rutherford Creek, near where Solomon Herring 
now lives, they came upon the Indians as they lay encamped, 
and fired upon and dispersed them, killing one man only. The 
company then continued their march, and came to Nashville the 
next day. 

About a month afterward Capt. Rains received orders from 
Col. Robertson to raise a troop and go southwardly through the 
woods from Nashville, and on finding any Indians on the Cher- 
okee side of the Chickasaw divisional line between the Chick- 
asaws and Cherokees, to destroy them. Capt. Rains raised sixty 
men, and took the Chickasaw trace, and crossed Duck River and 
Swan Creek, still traveling on the Chickasaw path, which was 
the boundary. Then leaving the path and going south and east 
up the Tennessee, after two days they came to an Indian trace, 
which they were able to ascertain had been made by five men 
and a boy. The troops overtook them in a few miles, and killed 
four men and took the boy. The fifth man escaped. The troop 
took their horses, seven in number, their guns, blankets, skins, 
and whatever else they had, and returned to Nashville with their 
scalps, as an evidence that they were killed. The mother of the 
boy was a Chickasaw; the father was a Creek. In behalf of the 
woman Mountain Leader, a distinguished chief of the Chicka- 
saws, wrote to Capt. Kains. The Creeks had made captive the 
son of a INtrs. Naine, who lived on White's Creek, on the north 
side of the Cumberland. Batterboo, a son of Mountain Leader, 

240 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

had gone into the Creek Nation, and had stolen and carried 
away the son of Mrs. Naine; and it was proposed by the chief 
in his letter to Capt. Eains to give the boy in exchange for the 
Indian boy. The exchange was agreed to and made. The In- 
dian boy was well dressed in the style of the wdiite people, and 
promised to return and see Capt. Rains, which he did a year aft- 
erward, when he was poorly clad and dressed in the Indian 

In the month of September Capt. Eains was again ordered 
out by Col. Robertson, and wath the same company as before 
proceeded to Duck River, and crossed at Greene's Lick. This 
company had been re-enforced at Nashville by Capt. Shannon's 
company of sixty men. The whole body proceeded together, 
and, after crossing at Greene's Lick, went on by the Pond Spring, 
and crossed the Tombigbee near its head; thence toward the 
Elk in various directions, so as to scour the whole country. The 
command of the whole was in Capt. Rains. Capt. Shannon, 
having been ordered to advance in front, had gone over a fresh 
Indian trace without perceiving it. Rains came to it and pur- 
sued, and soon came in sight of the Indians. Rains and one of 
his men (Beverly Ridley) pursued one of the Indians, and over- 
took and killed him. Some of the other soldiers of Rains's com- 
pany (John Rains, Jr., and Robert Evans) outran and made 
prisoner a young Indian of the age of nineteen years, and brought 
him to Nashville, whence by the order of Col. Robertson he was 
removed to the barrens of Kentucky and placed in the custody 
of a brother-in-law of Capt. Shannon. He was afterward re- 
moved to the city of Washington, and at the end of two years 
came back to Knoxville, and thence to Nashville, and was re- 
leased from captivity and permitted to go whithersoever he 
pleased. He returned to the Creek Nation. In the camp of 
these Indians was found a large quantity of deer-skins, fifteen 
good Indian horses, and other things. The young Indian man 
received from the whites the name of Shannon; the other, who 
was exchanged for Naine, was called John Rains. Divers 
other companies were sent out by Col. Robertson in this year 
for the same purposes, and were very alert in discharging 
the trust committed to them; and though they did not overtake 
and rout many groups or bands of marauding Indians, nor de- 
stroy many of them, yet in some instances they did execution of 

EAYWOOD's history of TENNESSEE. 241 

that sort; and the intelligence was spread amongst tlie Indians 
that the woods through which they had to travel to Nashville 
were constantly traversed by armed bodies of men, endeavoring 
to find their trails and to pursue them. 

Some of the first raised soldiers of Evans's battalion came to 
Cumberland with Capt. Hadley, and were placed at different 
stations in such proportions as emergences required, the most 
numerous guards being at the places most exposed. The sol- 
diers for the greater part of the ensuing two years remained in 
the country, and made an addition to the population and secu- 
rity of the inhabitants. One of these was Valentine Sevier, who 
will be mentioned in a subsequent chapter. But notwithstand- 
ing all these precautionary measures, such was the eagerness of 
the Indians for blood and plunder that they frequently found 
means of insinuating themselves into the settlement, and killed 
the inhabitants. In this year ( 1787 ) they killed Samuel Buchan- 
on, the brother of John Buclianon. They came upon him in the 
field where he was plowing, and fired upon him. He ran, and 
twelve Indians pursued him in the form of a half moon. When 
he came to the bluff of the creek, he jumped down a steep bank 
into the creek, where they overtook him and killed and scalped 
him. Scouts from Bledsoe's Lick to the Caney Fork and the 
waters that flowed into it were also sent out, under the orders of 
Col. Winchester, who acted by the directions of Col. Robertson. 
They frequently fell upon Indian trails and met Indian parties 
in the woods, with a great variety of fortune — sometimes disas- 
trous and sometimes successful. But the result produced was 
a conviction in the minds of the Indians that the frontiers were 
so vigilantly guarded by brave men, experienced in Indian fight- 
ing, as to make the acquisition of any thing in the settlements 
by their irruptions to be no otherwise attempted than at the im- 
minent risk of wounds, death, or captivity. Those they were 
equally averse from as other people, notwithstanding their pas- 
sion for war and for the occurrence of the difficulties connected 
with it, which it was their glory to evade or conquer by dexter- 
ous management and the adoption of well-chosen expedients. 
Under these impressions it is not to be doubted that they did 
far less mischief than otherwise they would have done. 

On the 11th of December, in the year 1787, at Tarborough, in 
North Carolina, the representatives of the counties of Davidson 

242 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

and Sumner, in the General Assembly then sitting at that 
place, made to that Assembly a solemn and written statement of 
the sufferings of their constituents, in the formation of which 
they were assisted by William Blount, Esq., afterward the Gov- 
ernor of the territory south-west of the river Ohio. They stated 
that the inhabitants of the western country were greatly dis- 
tressed by a constant war that was carried on against them by 
parties of the Creeks and Cherokees and some of the western 
Indians; that some of their horses were daily carried off secretly 
or by force, and that their own lives were in danger whenever 
they lost sight of a station or stoclvade; that in the course of 
that year thirty-three of their fellow-citizens had been killed 
by those Indians, a list of whose names they annexed, and as 
many more had been wounded; that by original letters or talks 
from the Chickasaw nation, which they had submitted to the 
inspection of the Assembly, it appeared that they were jealous 
or uneasy lest encroachments should be made on their hunting- 
grounds, and that unless some assurances were given them that 
their lands shoukl not be located, there was reason to apprehend 
that they shortly Avould be as hostile as the Creeks and Chero- 
kees; that these counties had been settled at great expense and 
personal danger to the memorialists and their constituents, and 
that by such settlement the adjacent lands had greatly increased 
in value, by which means the public had been enabled to sink a 
considerable part of the domestic debt. They and their constit- 
uents, they said, had cheerfully endured the almost unconquer- 
able difficulties in settling the western country, in full confi- 
dence that they should be enabled to send their produce to 
market through the rivers which water the country; Init they 
now have the mortification not only to be excluded from that 
channel of commerce by a foreign nation, but the Indians were 
rendered more hostile through the influence of that very nation, 
probably with a view to drive them from the country, as they 
claimed the whole of the soil. The memorialists called upon the 
humanity and justice of the State to prevent any further massa- 
cres and depredations of themselves and their constituents, and 
claimed from the Legislature that protection of life and proper- 
ty which is due to every citizen ; and they recommended, as the 
safest and most convenient means of relief, the adoption of the 
resolves of Congress, of the 26th of October last. This relief, 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 243 

tliey trusted, would not be refused, especially as tlie United 
States were pleased to interest themselves on this occasion, and 
were willing to bear the expense. And these, they said, were the 
names of several persons, inhabitants of Davidson and Sumner 
Counties, who had been killed since the first day of January, 
1787, by the Indians: Cornelius Paddle, Eneas and James Thom- 
as, William Price and Mrs. Price, Mr. Bowman, William Bush, 
Maj. William Hall and two sons, Richard and James Hall, John 
Buchanon, Abner Bush, Mr. Dunham, Mark Bobertson, Josiah 
Renfro, Thomas Hickman, Mr. Wallis, M. Ramsey, Mr. Staten, 
James Biswell, William Smothers and a Frenchman, Thomas 
Nolans, William Hays, and five others; William Colyears and 
three others, killed since the representatives left home, as they 
had been informed by letters. Gen. W^ilkinson was in Tarbor- 
ough at the time of this session of the Legislature, and from 
him they may have received some intimation of Spanish in- 
terference and claims. These sentiments were never avowed 
with such little reserve. It was evident that from that time the 
Spaniards were considered as the authors of Indian violences. 
The General Assembly which commenced its session at Tarbor- 
ough on the 18th of November, 1787, upon a representation f rom- 
the members from Davidson and Sumner, authorized the com- 
manding militia officers of those counties to appoint two or 
more persons to examine, survey, and mark out the best and 
most convenient way from the lower end of the Clinch Mount- 
ain to the settlements of Cumberland, and to order out the 
militia of these counties to cut and clear the road so marked. 
The regiments of these counties were ordered to be divided into 
four classes and parts of classes, beginning with the first, and so 
on, in rotation, until the road should be cut. The counties of 
Davidson and Sumner were directed to pay a tax with which to 
satisfy the laborers to be employed in cutting the road. And 
no person was permitted to go through Davidson or Sumner to 
any of the Indian towns, unless he had a pass from some officers 
duly authorized imder the United States, the executive of North 
Carolina, or the militia field officers of one of the said counties. 
This was to prevent the going of disorderly persons into the In- 
dian towns, and provoking them by outrageous conduct to acts 
of revenge; and they subjected to severe penalties those of the 
counties of Davidson and Sumner who should provoke or plun- 

244 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

cler any friendly Indian, or who should threaten to kill or de- 
stroy or beat any such Indian or any of his tribe. And the mi- 
litia officers of these connties were directed to raise militia 
guards, not exceeding fifty men each, when it should be known 
to such officers that a number of families were at the Cumber- 
land Mountains, waiting for an escort to conduct them to the 
Cumberland settlements, the expense to be paid by a poll-tax 
which the County Courts were authorized to levy upon those 
counties respectively. A road was soon afterward cut from 
Bledsoe's Lick into the Nashville road, leading to the Clinch 
Kiver, and the last-mentioned road was also cleared. By these 
improvements emigration into the new settlements was greatly 
facilitated and encouraged. Especially when being traveled by a 
guard there was little or no danger from Indian aggressions, the 
emigrants and the guard together generally making up a formi- 
dable corps. The Assembly at the same time passed a law to 
encourage the making of salt in Davidson County. 

The gates of the new year (1788) were unfolded under cir- 
cumstances less propitious than in olden times usually accom- 
panied the like ceremony at the temple of Janus. The settlers 
experienced a mixture of prosperity and distress, which, how- 
ever, gave them the foretaste of a final triumph over the calam- 
ities by which they had been so long oppressed. Increase of ^ 
population, with agricultural exertion and success, had given a 
firm establishment to the settlement, and there was no longer 
any apprehension that they would ever be broken up. But they 
were still disturbed by the implacable enmity of the savages, 
who would expose themselves to the most imminent dangers 
rather than not wreak their vengeance on the Cumberland peo- 
ple, who every day became more formidable and more efficient. 

In the month of February, 1788, the Indians came to Bled- 
soe's Station in the night-time, and shot into it through the gaps 
between the logs, and wounded George Hamilton, and went oflp. 
Near Asher's Station, on the north side of the Cumberland, they 
wounded Jesse Maxey. He fell, and they scalped him and 
stuck a knife into his body. Contrary to all expectation, he re- 

In this year, on Drake's Creek, they came to the house of 
William Montgomery, the same person whose son was wounded 
in the year 1787, and killed this son and two of his brothers in 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 245 

the day-time, at the spring, one hundred yards from the house. 
In the early part of March, at the plantation of Col. Robertson, 
on Richland Creek, a few days after he and Col. Bledsoe wrote 
to McGillevray, a party of Creeks killed Peyton Robertson, his 
son, at a sugar camp; took prisoner another lad, John Johnston, 
led him off, and detained him in captivity several years. In this 
year they killed Robert Jones, on the lands of David AYilson, 
called Wilson's Station, in the day-time; and also Benjamin 
Williams, near the head of Station Camp Creek. They killed, 
also, the widow Neely, in Neely's Bend, below Neely's Lick, and 
wounded Robert Edmonson at the same time and place, by 
bi-eakiug his arm. In the month of October in this year they 
killed two men, of the names of Dunham and Astill. 

Though not without information which pointed to Spanish 
policy as the chief engine of their suffering from the Indians, 
Cols. Robertson and Bledsoe were yet desirous to discover, as 
a director in future resolves, whether the Creeks had any real 
or alleged cause for their displeasure against tb"^ people of 
Cumberland. The Creeks had no land on the south side of 
Tennessee to which they had ever laid claim. The people of the 
Cumberland had never encroached upon any of their possessions, 
nor had they acted inimically toward any of the Creeks, except 
in defense of themselves and their families when attacked. They 
could not conceive, therefore, how the Creeks could have any 
ground of complaint peculiar to themselves which should urge 
them into the extremes to which they had gone. But if, unknown 
to them, the Creeks really had any such grounds, and did not 
act under an impulse received from others, these gentlemen 
hoped that, if it were made known to them, they could give sat- 
isfactory explanations to the enraged Creeks or could remove 
the exasperating causes. Early in the spritig they addressed a 
letter in their joint names to. McGillevray, the celebrated chief 
of the Creek Nation, inquiring into the grounds of the offensive 
deportment of the Creeks toward them, and transmitted it to 
him by special messengers, Mr. Hoggatt and Mr. Ewing. To 
this application McGillevray replied at Little Tallassee, on the 
4th of April, 1788: "I will not deny that my nation has waged 
war against your country for several years past, and that we had 
no motives of revenge for it, nor did it proceed from any sense 
of injuries sustained from your people; but, being warmly at- 

246 Haywood's history op Tennessee. 

tached to the British, under their influence our operations were 
directed by them against you, in common with other Americans. 
After the general peace had taken place you sent us a talk, pro- 
posing terms of peace, by Samuel Martin, which I then accept- 
ed and advised my people to agree to, and which should have 
been finally concluded in the ensuing summer and fall. Judg- 
ing that your people were sincere in their professions, I Avas 
much surprised to find that while this affair was pending they 
attacked the French traders at the Muscle Shoals, and killed six 
of our nation who were there trafficking for silver ware. These 
men belonged to different towns, and had connections of the 
first consequence in the nation. Such an unprovoked outrage 
raised a most violent clamor, and gave rise to the expedition 
against Cumberland which soon took place. But as that af- 
fair has been since amply retaliated, I now once again will use 
my best endeavors to bring about a peace between us. And, in- 
deed, before I received your dispatches I had given out strict 
orders that on the return of all hunting parties none should go 
out under any pretense until the first general meeting, which I 
expect to hold in May next, when all my influence and authori- 
ty will be exerted in the manner you wish. I shall take leave of 
this subject, referring you to Mr. Hoggatt, to whom I have free- 
ly explained my sentiments. 

"I have seen the resolves of Congress respecting Indian 
affairs as early as the beginning of January last, besides being 
notified of the same by Gen. Pickens; but I have as yet heard 
nothing of a superintendent or Georgia commissioner. Eelative 
to the business of their commission I had received his Excel- 
leucy. Gov. Caswell's letter and duplicate only a short time be- 
fore the unlucky affair of the Muscle Shoals, so that I deferred 
writing an answer until I could be satisfied in my own mind 
that he might depend on what I should say to him. As I abhor 
every species of duplicity, I wish not to deceive; and if I were 
not decided on settling and terminating the war, I would not 
now write. I have hitherto only seen my friend, Col. Hawkins, 
on paper, and I highly honor and esteem him on this kind of 
acquaintance. The excellent character everybody gives him 
makes him a valuable advocate for your cause. Chance may 
put us in each other's view one day or other, and I shall rejoice 
in having the opportunity of saluting him as my friend." 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 247 

A personal avowal of one's own candor, sincerity, or probity 
is seldom the best evidence to be had of either, and by the max- 
ims of prudence, as well as by the principles of law, it should 
generally be rejected till better be produced. The Creeks were 
not inclined to a pacific demeanor by exhortations received from 
any quarter. About the 20th of the month of July, in this year, 
in the night-time, they killed Col. Anthony Bledsoe, standing in 
an entry between two cabins. He heard the cattle running, as 
they always did when the Indians were about, and the dogs 
barking. He encouraged the dogs, and the Indians from the cor- 
ners of the fence near the house fired upon and wounded him so 
that he died the next morning. At the same time and place 
they killed Campbell, an Irishman, who had been a servant of 
James and George Winchester. 

Col. Robertson, seeing the union in disorder and at the point 
of dissolution from the imbecility of its own structure, and ex- 
pecting no aid from that quarter or from North Carolina, which 
betrayed inability and disinclination, thought it most prudent to 
temporize and amuse awhile both the Spanish agents and the 
Creek chieftain; to dissemble the deep resentment he had at 
their conduct, and even to insinuate that he had come to a state 
of unconcernedness with respect to their main object; so true it 
is in nature that the strong and rich man speaketh surlily, but 
the weak one in the language of mildness. Col. Robertson replied 
to the letter of McGillevray on the 3d of August, 1788; and 
though he could not be otherwise than greatly irritated at the 
recent d6ath of Col. Bledsoe, not the least symptom of asperity 
escaped him. He stated to McGillevray that his letter had 
given much satisfaction to the country in general; that he had 
transmitted copies of it to Gov. Caswell, which he had since 
seen published in the Kenfucki/ Gazette. The Indians, said he, 
still continue their incursions in some measure, though trifling 
to what they had experienced in the spring. He imagined, he 
said, that they were made by the Cherokees or some outlying 
Creeks who were not apprised of McGillevray 's orders. He in- 
formed McGillevray that Col. Anthony Bledsoe was killed by a 
small party about the 20th of July. It is reported, said he, that 
the inhabitants of Holston and the Cherokees are at war, but we 
have not received any account that may be depended on, nor 
whether you and the Georgians are likely to terminate your dis- 

248 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

pnte. "From Mr. Hoggatt's account," said he, "1 have expected 
some of the Creeks in, I have caused a deed," said the colonel, 
"for a lot in Nashville to be recorded in your name, and beg you 
will let me know whether you will accept of a tract or two of 
land in our young country. I could say much to you," continued 
the colonel, "respecting this fine country, but am fully sensible 
you are better able to judge what may take place a few years 
hence than myself. In all probability we cannot long remain 
in our present state; and if the British, or any commercial na- 
tion who may be in possession of the mouth of the Mississippi, 
would furnish us vvith trade and receive^our produce, there can- 
not be a doubt but that the peoj)le west of the Appalachian 
Mountains will open their eyes to their real interests. I shall 
be very hapjjy to hear your sentiments of this matter." We shall 
see hereafter that the contents of these letters really had upon 
the Spanish commissioners the influence which it was expected 
they would create. If love conquers all things in the natural 
world, so does well-applied compliments in the civil depart- 
ments of life, and in the prosperous management of affairs per- 
haps the latter are equally as operative as the other. 

In the fall of this year the Indians killed one Watters after 
they had killed Bledsoe, near the place where Stamps now lives, 
two or three hundred yards from AVinchester's mill. In the fall 
of this year, also, twenty-tw^o families came to the Cumberland 
settlements by the way of Knoxville, escorted by a guard of one 
hundred men raised in the counties of Davidson and Sumner, 
commanded by Col. Mansco and Maj. Kirkpatrick. The guards 
to escort emigrant families were kept up for several falls, and 
such families were enabled to come through the wilderness with- 
out much danger. On the south side of the Cumberland the In- 
dians did mischief also in this year. They attacked the station 
of Southerland Mayfield, upon the head of the west fork of Mill 
Creek, four miles above its junction with the east fork. They 
were in a body of ten or twelve men. In the evening they came 
. to a i^lace near the station, where Mayfield and his two sons and 
another person were making a wolf -pen, together with the pres- 
ent Col. Jocelyn, then a private man. The Indians, unperceived, 
got between them and their guns. They fired upon and killed 
Mayfield and one of his sous and another person who acted as a 
guard at that station. They fired upon the soldier and the son 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 249 

as they went toward the guns to bring to the pen something 
that was there, and jumped over a log from where they had lain 
behind it, to scalp them in the presence of Jocelyn and Mayfield. 
Jocelyn ran for his gun and got amongst the Indians, who fired 
upon him and set fire to his clothes, and drove him back pursu- 
ing him, a string of them being on both sides in the form of a 
half-moon. At length they drove him to a very large log, over 
which if he could not have jumped, he was completely penned. 
Beyond his own expectations, he jumped over it and fell upon 
his back; but, despairing of taking a man of so much activity, they 
desisted from any further attempt, and left him. He took a cir- 
cuitous route, and got into the station. Some bullets, not aimed 
at Southerland Mayfield, had glanced and wounded him, for the 
Indians did not see nor follow him when he ran. He did not 
return to the station, however, and looking for him the next day 
in the direction he had run, he was found dead, by a bullet 
which had penetrated his body. They took George Mayfield, the 
son of Southerland Mayfield, prisoner, and led him to the Creek 
Nation, where he remained ten or twelve years. The Indians 
made no attempt upon the station, but w^ent off with their pris- 
oner and the guns they had taken. Those who were in the fort 
removed to Capt. Rains's, near Nashville, their situation being 
deemed too exposed and dangerous for them to remain where 
they w^ere with any hope of safety. The Indians who committed 
this massacre were Creeks. In the same year, in the spring 
season, at Brown's Station, on the west fork of Mill Creek, a 
mile below Mayfield Station, the Indians attacked and killed four 
boys, two of them sons of Stowball, one a son of John Brown, 
and one the son of Joseph Denton. The people who were liv- 
ing at that station immediately withdrew to Eains's Station. In 
the same year, after the boys were killed, James Haggard and 
his wife were killed at Brown's Station, and at the same time and 
place a man of the name of Adams. A few days after this John 
Haggard was killed, and then it was that the station was broken 
up and removed to Rains's. In the month of August of this year 
a convention of delegates from all the counties of the State met 
at Hillsborough to consider the proposed federal Constitution, 
and rejected it by a great majority, the members from the coun- 
ties of Davidson and Sumner, as well as those from the counties 
on the waters of Holston, being amongst the dissentients. 

250 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

In November, 1788, the increased population of Davidson 
again called for its division, and a new county with the name of 
Tennessee was taken fi-om the vs^estern part of it. The old 
county of Davidson was divided by a line beginning on the Vir- 
ginia line; thence south along Sumner County to the dividing 
ridge between the Cumberland River and Red River; thence 
westwardly along said ridge to the head of the main south branch 
of Sycamore Creek; thence down the said branch to the mouth 
thereof; thence due south across the Cumberland River to the 
Davidson County line. All that part of Davidson which lay west 
w^as erected into a county by the name of Tennessee. Officers of 
all sorts, both civil and military, were directed to be appointed, 
and courts to be held for the administration and execution of the 
laws. In their November session of 1788, they erected the coun- 
ties of Davidson, Sumner, and Tennessee into a Superior Court 
district, and appointed Superior Courts to be held therein. It was 
usual in the Assembly of North Carolina on the third reading 
of a bill for the establishment of a district or county, and some- 
times at the second reading, for the speaker to call for the name 
with which the blank left for the purpose was to be filled up, at 
which call the name was given by the advocate and father of 
the bill. Upon the passage of this bill the name was called for 
and the name of Mero given. It was received without opposi- 
tion. The leading members of the House, being probably ac- 
quainted with the motives which dictated this nomination, made 
no objection, and others, without the same knowledge, followed 
their example. But some who were not so well informed as to 
be able to see the groundwork of this procedure, took offense at 
it. To such men it seemed to be as strange, as unexampled, that 
the name of an officer of a foreign government who was not and 
never had been in our service should be selected as the favor- 
ite whose name should be perpetuated on our public records, and 
that it should be given to a great political section of country 
which might perhaps sustain that name for many ages. They 
wished to know the meaning of this phenomenon, not having 
yet learned that political ends are liable to be defeated by a pub- 
lication of the means used to attain them. Not receiving satis- 
faction, they argued on the basis of conjecture, 

Don Estephan Mero was a colonel in the service of the King 
of Spain, and Governor of Orleans; was an enlightened man, of 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 251 

engaging deportment, and of a very benevolent heart; but so 
were ten thousand other foreigners who had not been honored 
with any mark of peculiar esteem. And again, why select a 
Spaniard of so much distinction at the very time when that na- 
tion unjustly withheld from us the free navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi, and when this very officer Avas the one chosen by the 
Spanish courts to see that exclusion completely executed. And 
this not all: at the very time, too, when it was proposed by 
Spain, and had been submitted to Congress by their minister 
negotiating with Spain, that the United States should relinquish 
the navigation of the Mississippi for twenty-five years, a meas- 
ure which, if acceded to, would have completely ruined and bro- 
ken up all the settlements on the western waters. 

And still more, when it was fiercely urged in the neighboring 
State of Kentucky that certain visitants from that country to 
Orleans who were now suspected as having passed through the 
Cumberland settlements in returning to Kentucky, had indus- 
triously scattered the seeds of alienation from our own govern- 
ment through all parts of their progress. It was reported of 
them that they had vilified our own government for its incom- 
petency to procure for the people those advantages which were 
essential to their existence; that at th6 same time they advised 
the rejection of the proposed Constitution for the government of 
the United States, the object of which was to establish a more ef- 
ficient government and to give to it an arm strong enough for 
the protection of all its parts; that they had treated with derision 
the fallacy and futility of transmontane promises, and referred 
to the long experience which the western people had of them. 
Those who reasoned upon these conjectures were fearful lest in 
some parts of the western country there might have been im- 
bibed a portion of the insidious opinion that there was more 
congeniality between their circumstances and Spanish connec- 
tions than between them and the prostrated energies of the At- 
lantic confederacy. These speculations harrowed up the imagi- 
nation till it had rendered the danger of separation extreme and 
imminent. They called to mind that the proposal to give up the 
navigation of the Mississippi for twenty-five years was made 
about the time when certain political characters in Kentucky 
were accused of intriguing with the Spanish agents to detach 
the western country from the Union, and to render it a province 


or dependency of the Spanish government. These accusations, 
it was said, were urged with vehemence, referring to divers parts 
of the conduct of the accused, as evidence in support of the 
charge, and that they supplied at least plausible testimony to- 
ward substantiating the fact. It was undeniable, they said, that 
some of the accused had visited the Governor of Orleans, Don 
Stephen Mero, and had negotiated, as rumor proclaimed, for the 
transportation and sale of Kentucky tobacco in the Spanish 
market; and that this was only a part of a more extended plan, 
which was not submitted to public inspection. 

Commercial indulgences coming from the spontaneous per- 
mission of the Spanish government when they could not be pro- 
cured by the influence of the Union were suspected to be the art- 
ful substratum of an invincible argument for separation. To 
these, it was believed, were added the surprising apathy with 
which Congress received the proposal for the relinquishment of 
the navigation of the Mississippi for twenty-five years, whilst 
the situation of the Spanish possessions in the neighborhood of 
ours, the means they had of depreciating the value of our re- 
sources by commercial restrictions, and the friendly disposition 
they manifested toward us could all be mustered in aid of the 
scheme for becoming a part of their connections or subjects. 
These visionaries believed that such apprehensions were not the 
airy fabrics of a dream, but that Mero had far more studiously 
shaped his conduct to please and to seduce the western people, 
wavering between the love of country and of freedom on the one 
hand, and the actual deprivation of all commerce on the other, 
than becomes a friendly neighbor, a disinterested politician, or a 
man of undisguised candor. His benevolence, it was hinted, 
must be of the most uncommon species if he voluntarily took 
upon himself all these pains for the relief of a people whom he 
had not known but as a people oppressed by the jealousy of 
his sovereign, and every day tomahawked by his Indian allies, 
who in one moment could be hushed into silence by his word; 
for a people, too, who could not be supposed to be greatly actu- 
ated by affection toward himself, except as they could be induced 
to believe that their own prosperity was promoted, or was intend- 
ed to be promoted, by the means which he had at command. 
These theorists, like the people of Athens, and the strangers who 
were there, spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 253 

to hear something new. And they continued to exhibit their 
vast political attainments upon this inexhaustible subject till by 
the adoption of the federal Constitution, the event foreseen by the 
politicians of Cumberland, it became manifest to the whole world 
that the strong and compact government established by that in- 
strument forever banished the idea that the free navigation of 
the Mississippi would be abandoned. It was immediately per- 
ceived, and by Spain particularly, that there was now too much 
power concentrated in the hands of the Union to be long with- 
held from the dominion of the Mississippi and of all the coun- 
tries adjacent to it. At the applauding thunder in the political 
atmosphere which ushered into being this grand crisis, the 
croaliers dived in haste to their native habitations, and gave 
time for a fair examination of the course which had been pur- 
sued. And it was accorded that these tokens of friendship were 
hung out to inspire correspondent inclinations, and with Ihe 
hope and expectation that they might be the parents of friend- 
ly advice to the Indians. And it is asserted that Gov. Mero 
was far from being unaffected at this instance of personal es- 
teem, and that he did actually soften those asperities toward 
the people of Cumberland, which the Spanish government 
was not unwilling to encourage. The truth is, that the west- 
ern people were in circumstances so exposed to temptation 
as to awaken the jealousy of their Atlantic brethren who were 
prompted to make inquiry why it was that as early as 1785 
tobacco was raised both in Tennessee and Kentucky in such 
quantities as to be carried to public warehouses to be there 
declared marketable. Had it been intimated to the people 
that tobacco raised in Tennessee and Kentucky would be 
exported down the Mississippi to the New Orleans market? 
Trifling circumstances, which at other times would not have 
made the slightest impression, now gave uneasiness and dis- 
satisfaction, and contributed m no small degree to make the 
Atlantic counties more sparing of their gratuities. There is one 
political lesson, and a very important one it is, which is learned 
from the transactions of these days, that perhaps the predilection 
for any form of government works not with so much effect, as 
the consideration that the western people cannot live without a 
market for the abundant produce of their fertile country; and 
that it will be a most dangerous experiment ever to place these 


desiderata iu opposite scales. It teaches us also the great vigi- 
lance which the government of the Union should incessantly be- 
stow upon all places which by being well fortified could contrib- 
ute to the security of Orleans. Whoever occupies Orleans will 
be the arbiter of our destinies. What a debt of gratitude is due 
to those by whose valor and good conduct it has been saved to 
the United States! 

It was not till after the date of McGillevray's letter in April, 
1788, that the Creeks had ever attempted a vindication of tlieir 
violence against the people of Cumberland upon the score of eu- 
croachment upon their territory. But after that period, in the 
same year, as if he had forgotten the contents of his former let- 
ter, he addressed another to Col. Robertson in the latter part of 
the year, in which complaints were preferred of encroachments 
made by the Americans upon the Creek lands. Col. Robertson, 
in reply to this letter, regretted these circumstances, and excused 
both himself and the people of Cumberland from blame by re- 
marking that they were not a part of the State whose people 
had made the encroachments. The people of Cumberland, be 
avowed, only claimed those lands which the Cherokees, in the 
year 1775, ceded to Col. Henderson, and for which they were 
paid. He had not expected to be blamed for his late expedition 
carried on against a people living below the Muscle Shoals, who 
had been stated to him both by Creeks and Cherokees as a law- 
less banditti who submitted to the regulations of no nation. He 
had just returned, he said, from the Assembly, who, together 
with the Continental Congress, had the most perfect good-will 
to do justice to all the red people. And the Assembly had been 
informed by Dr. White that he (McGillevray) had promised a 
suspension of hostilities to all persons but. those who were en- 
deavoring to take their just and national right. He said that 
since he and Col. Bledsoe had written to McGillevray he had 
been subjected to the mortification of seeing one of his children 
inhumanly massacred, a shock that almost conquered the forti- 
tude which he had been endeavoring from his earliest youth up 
to provide as a shield against the calamitous evils of this life. 
At the same time a neighbor's child was made prisoner, whom 
he requested the good offices of Gen. McGillevray to have re- 
stored. His parents, said he, were inconsolable for his loss, and 
the only comfort they enjoy is the hope founded on the gener- 

Haywood's hlstoky of Tennessee. 255 

ous character of McGillevray that he would cause their child to 
be restored to them. Last fall he had stopped an expedition 
against the Cherokees on hearing from Dr. White of their friend- 
ly professions, and in so doing had incurred the displeasure of 
many of his friends. He desired McGillevray to punish the re- 
fractory part of his nation as the only means of preserving 
peace. Here grief imperceptibly stole upon his mind and 
poured forth itself in nature's simple strains. It is a matter of 
no reflection, said he, to a brave man, to see a father, a son, or a 
brother fall in the field of action; but it is a serious and mel- 
ancholy incident to see a helpless woman or an innocent child 
tomahawked in their own houses. He sent to Gen. McGillevray 
a law of the Legislatnre of North Carolina for punishing trans- 
gressions against the Indians, and importuned him to put in 
force a similar law. 

In December, 1788, McGillevray answered that he had seen a 
proclamation of Congress for restoring to the Cherokees the 
lands encroached upon since the treaty of 1785, which extended 
near to Chota. The Cherokees had asked assistance, he said, 
which the Creeks furnished in the fall of 1788, but since seeing 
the proclamation he had spoken to Little Turkey and the 
Bloodyfellow, who were satisfied of the intentions of Congress 
toward them, and promised to refrain from all hostilities against 
the whites. The leader, called the Dragging Canoe, who was 
upon the point of setting off with two hundred men, had stopped. 
He assured Col. Robertson that he would persist in the meas- 
ures most proper to keep the Creeks from further hostilities 
against Cumberland. He expected the ensuing spring would 
terminate their disputes with Georgia. Col. Robertson about 
this time also wrote to the Cherokees complaining of the outrages 
they had committed in the time of his absence at the Assembly. 
Although it had been agreed by treaty that the innocent should 
not be punished for the misbehavior of wrong-doers, he invited 
them to send a flag to him with their answer to let him know 
whether they intended a general war or not. 

The year 1789 as it rolled into view brought with it some or- 
dinary and some extraordinary events. On the 20th of January 
the Indians killed Capt. Hunter and dangerously wounded Hugh 
F. BelL A party of white men collected and pursued the In- 
dians, and at the distance of two and a half miles came upon 

256 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

them ambuscaded. They fired upon the pursuers, killed Maj. 
Kirkpatrick, and wounded J. Foster and William Brown. 

They kept up hostilities during the whole summer, and killed 
a number of persons whose names are not remembered. In the 
spring of this year, at Dunham's Station, the Indians killed a 
man of the name of Mills; in May they killed Dunham, and in 
the summer Joseph Norrington and another Dunham near where 
the house of Mr. Joseph Irwin now stands. They fired on J. 
Coekrill and killed his horse. They stole horses, and killed 
divers persons in different parts of the country. 

In May, 1789, Judge McNairy, who had been appointed to 
succeed the resigned Judge of the Supreme Court for the county 
of Davidson, and who had come in 1788 to discharge the functions 
of his ofiice, set off with others to go into what was then called 
the settlements, and encamped on the west side of Clinch River. 
Here a large company of Indians fell upon them about two 
hours by sun in the morning, and killed a man of the name of 
Stanley, a Chickasaw chief called Longhair, and his son. The 
whites were entirely routed, and escaped by swimming across 
Clinch Eiver. They lost all their horses and a great part of 
their clothing. In 1789 the Indians killed Miss McGav^ghs at 
Hickman Station. They killed Hugh Webb on the Kentucky 
trace near Barren Kiver, as he and others were bringing salt 
from Kentucky to Cumberland. They killed a man who had 
married Jane Keudricks, near Winchester's mill. They shot 
Henry Ramsey through the bowels, near Bledsoe's Creek, be- 
tween Greene and Morgan's Station, about three or four miles 
west from Bledsoe's Lick. 

In this year the Indians came to Col. Robertson's station in 
the day-time and attacked him where his hands were at work in 
the field, in the latter part of June. They fired upon and shot 
him through the bottom of the foot as he ran toward the station. 
He ordered Col. Elijah Robertson, of Davidson County, to send 
men in pursuit of them. Sampson Williams, a captain, was or- 
dered upoH that service. His men, to the number of sixty or 
seventy, convened at Gen. Robertson's, and marched along 
McCutchin's trace up West Harper to the ridge of Duck River, 
where they discovered that the Indians outtraveled them. 
Twenty men were ordered to the f ront, to leave their horses, and 
to make forced marcjhes upon the trail. Sampson Williams and 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 257 

the twenty pushed forward, and came in view of their camp on 
the south side of Duck Eiver. Andrew Jackson, now Gen. 
Jackson, was one of the twenty. They went a mile and a half 
up the river, crossed in the night, and went down the river; but 
the cane was so thick that they could not find the camp, and lay 
on their arms all night. In the morning, after advancing fifty 
yards, Capt. Williams descried them mending up the chumps at 
the distance of one hundred yards from where he was. He and 
his men rushed toward them and fired at the distance of sixty 
yards, killed one, wounded five or six, and drove them across the 
river to the north side. He took from them sixteen guns, nine- 
teen shot-pouches, and all their baggage, consisting of blankets, 
moccasins, leggins, etc., and returned home. The Indians car- 
ried off the wounded, and did not return the fire. 

In this year, near the mouth of Sulphur Fork of Red River, 
the Indians fell upon two moving families by the name of Tits- 
worth, Isaac and John, and killed their wives «and children — not 
one escaped. In this year, also, they killed Evan Shelby and 
Abeduego Lewellen as they were hunting in the woods. Hugh 
F. Bell and Col. Tenen made their escape. In the month of 
September, in the year 1789, the Indians came to Buchanon's 
Station and fired upon John Blackburn near the spring on the 
bank of the creek, in the morning. Ten or twelve of them fired 
upon him at the same time, killed him, scalped him, and left a 
spear sticking in his body. 

The Spaniards remitted nothing of their aversion to the Cum- 
berland settlements, nor of the means which they had long since 
chosen to adopt to repress and to thin those settlements. They 
and their agents talked much of endeavoring to induce the In- 
dians to be quiet, yet they were in nowise pacified; and also 
other measures, if not calculated, at least designed to draw off 
the settlers, were put in practice. Gov. Mero issued his procla- 
mation on the 2d of September, 1789, in which he set forth that 
his Majesty the King of Spain had been graciously pleased to 
permit the subjects and citizens of other countries to emigrate 
to his provinces of Louisiana and West Florida, by the Missis- 
sippi River, with their stock, household furniture, etc., and to 
introduce their property, promising to each family a tract of 
land, from two hundred and forty to eight hundred acres, in pro- 
portion to the numbers, free from all expense, as also exemption 


from taxation. In order to fulfill these benevolent intentions, 
he made it known by this proclamation to all persons who might 
become the subjects of his Majesty that tliey would be duly pro- 
tected in their rights and privileges before mentioned. Each 
person emigrating, on taking the oath of allegiance, would be 
obliged to render on oath a true invoice of the property he might 
bring down, to the governor of the District of Natchez, or the 
commandant at Lans Le Grace, as the case may be; and solemn- 
ly to swear that no other persons are directly or indirectly con- 
cerned in the same, it being the intention of his Majesty to ex- 
tend this bounty to actual settlers only; and any attempt to 
contravene this design would be punished with the utmost rigor. 
All these regulations had the obvious tendency to dishearten the 
Cumberland settlers, and, with the assistance of Indian warfare, 
to make them desirous of a Spanish alliance. Col. Morgan, for 
some time previous to the date of this proclamation, dazzled by 
the splendor of these offers, had attempted a settlement on the 
Spanish side of the river, and continued with much zeal up to 
the latter part of 1789 to try to persuade the people in the East- 
ern States to become Spanish subjects, and to give to his under- 
taking as much eclat as possible Gov. Mero issued his proclama- 
tion; but finally the attempt failed of success because of the 
stubborn nature of republican education, which forbids com- 
mixture with despotic habits. 

The General Assembly of North Carolina, at their session 
which began in Fayetteville on the 2d of December, 1788, and 
concluded on the 22dof December of that year, ordered the sale 
of the salt licks and springs and of the adjoining lands. The 
County Courts of Sumner, Davidson, and Tennessee were en- 
joined, at the April term of their courts, in the year 1790, to 
make a list, to be signed by the chairmen, of all licks fit for the 
manufacture of salt, including Eaton's Lick, Denton's Lick, 
Neely's Lick, Rasper's Lick, Madison's Lick, Drake's Lick, Sto- 
ner's Lick, and Bledsoe's Lick, which were to be sold. All other 
salt licks and springs, not deemed by those courts fit for manu- 
facturing salt, were declared to be vacant lands, as were also the 
lands adjoining them, and were made liable to be located and 
entered. Commissioners were to cause to be siirveyed, where 
not already done, the several licks and springs fit for the manu- 
facturing of salt, with six hundred and forty acres of the adjoin- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 259 

ing lands; they were to advertise the same for sale, and to make 
sale of them within twelve months. Two of the reserved licks, 
with the adjoining laud, were to be retained for the use of the 
Davidson Academy, for which commissioners were ordered to 
execute a deed to the trustees. The moneys were appropriated 
to the use of the District of Mero, as might thereafter be by law 
appointed. Grants were to be made to the purchasers, and cer- 
tain leased salt licks were provided for. They established at the 
same session a tobacco inspection at Clarksville and a provision 
store on the frontier of Hawkins County, at the house of John 
Adair, for the reception of corn, flour, pork, and beef, for the 
sole use of the Cumberland guard when called on to escort and 
to conduct families and emigrants through the wilderness to the 
Cumberland settlements. John Adair was appointed commis- 
sioner to purchase provisions, who was to give certificates which 
should be received by the different sheriffs in the District of 
Washington in part payment of the public tax in the counties 
of that district, and from them by the public treasurer. They 
made provision, also, by an act of the Legislature, for persons 
wounded in the District of Mero. The County Courts of David- 
son, Sumner, and Tennessee were authorized, whenever it ap- 
peared to their satisfaction that any person wounded by the In- 
dians was not able to defray the expense of his treatment and 
cure, to pass the accounts of the physician, surgeon, and nurse; 
and those for the necessary medicines, provision, and attend- 
ance, the same being properly attested and approved on oath. 
These accounts, so passed, were to be received in payment of 
any of the public taxes by the collectors, sheriffs, and other of- 
ficers in the district. Accounts for provisions furnished the In- 
dians within the District of Mero, by any of the inhabitants 
thereof, and being duly proved upon oath, and being exhibited in 
the court of the county where the claimant resided, the court 
was authorized to allow and pass and to fix the price of such 
provisions. Accounts thus passed were made receivable in pay- 
ment of any of the public taxes of the district, and they exempt- 
ed from militia duty all surgeons and physicians in the district. 
They enlarged the powers and salary of the Judge of the Supe- 
rior Court for the District of Mero, giving to him an equity ju- 


Congress Regulates the Ceded Territory — Officers. Appointed — Governor Proceeds 
to Tennessee; Causes the Oath of Office to Be Administered — A Treaty Pro- 
posed to tlie Cherolcees — Circumstances of the Territory — Occupants South of 
tiie French Broad and the Holston — Tennessee Company — Spanish Jealousies; 
Their Attempts to Defeat the Western Settlements; During the Negotiations 
with Them the Western Settlers Restrained from Offensive Operations against 
the Indians, Their Allies — Sevier Made Brigadier-general — Cox and His Party 
Arrested — Indians Had Driven Them Off" — Purchasers from Cox — Population 
of the Territory — Reports Circulated to Deter the Cherokee Chiefs from Meet- 
ing the Governor — Treaty with Them — Persons Killed or Wounded and Dep- 
redations of the Indians, 1791 — Bowles Prevents the Execution of the Creek 
Treaty — Printing-press at Rogersville — Indians to Be Induced to Join the 
United States — Treaty to Be Held at Nashville — Report upon the Displeas- 
ure of the Indians — Five Lower Towns of theCherokees Hostile — Scalp Dance 
— Eagle Tail Dance — ^Creek Prisoners — Troops Raised — Spanish Instigation — 
Mutual Hatred of the Whites and Cherokees — Thefts — Indians Killed — Bowles 
Taken into Custody by the Spaniards — Devastations of the Indians in Kentucky 
— The Governor Visited Cayette ; Received by the Indians with Great Re- 
spect — Persons Killed by the Indians in 1782 — Counties of Knox and Jeffer- 
son — Creeks Kill White Men in the Cherokee Nation — Spaniards Incite the 
Indians; Their Violences; Rout Henly's Company and Take Him Prisoner — 
Gov. Blount's Speech to the Indians — Militia Raised under Sevier, 1792 — Peo- 
ple Averse from the Service against the Insurgents — Indifference of the Gen- 
eral Government to the SufTerings of the Western People — Fort Erected at 
West Point by Gen. Sevier — Why Chosen — Indian Depredations — Cherokees 
Obtained a Junction with the Whites Again at the Northwards — Causes of In- 
dian Hostilities Explained — Henderson Purchased the Cherokee Claim — 
Chickasaw Claim — Donalson and Martin — Their Treaty with the Indians, 178?) 
— Claim and Cession of the Six Nations— Virginia Boundary — Correspondence 
between the Governor of Virginia and Gov. Blount — Documents Concerning 
the Boundary —Gen. Sevier's Instructions to Col. Christian — Watts Wisiied 
for Peace — Sevier with His Army Ordered to Knoxville — Troops Discharged 
— Property Stolen — Persons Killed and Wounded, 1793 — Spaniards Incite the 
Indians to War — The People Embody to Take Satisfaction of the Indians — 
Dispersed by the Governor's Proclamation — Creeks Bent on War — Perplex- 
ing Occurrences — -Troops Ordered — Instructions to the Officers How to Act — 
Creek Army — Douglass Killed — Exhortations to Peace — Scouting Parties — 
Spaniards — Panton — Morris, the Chickasaw, Killed — General Government 
Censured by the People — Killed and Wounded, 1793 — Indians Killed at 
Hanging Maws by Beard's Party — Militia Ordered to Be in Readiness — Or- 
dered to March to Knoxville — Invasion of the Creeks and Cherokees Appre- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 2(31 

hended — Horses Stolen by the Indians — Action between a Party of Indians 
and Whites — Indians on Their Way Home with Scalps and Horses — Indians 
at Doherty's Mill — Pursued and Some Killed — Nine White Men Wounded 
— Fifteen More Indians Killed — Indian Depredations — Persons Killed or 
Wounded — Indians Killed — Houses Burned by the Indians — Tlie Whites Em- 
body without Orders — Others Embody at Another Place and March against 
the Indians, Though Eorbidden to Do So — Sevier Directed to Raise Men and 
Reconnoiter the Country — Indians Killed — Indians Killed in Their Towns, 
and Others Made Prisoners — Persons Killed or Wounded by the Indians on 
the Frontiers — Gen. .Sevier Called on by the People — Indians Embodied — As- 
sault Henry's Station — Persons Killed by Them — Gen. Sevier's Letter to tlie 
Indians — Militia Ordered to Be in Readiness — Measures to Repress the In- 
cursions of the Indians — Persons Killed by the Indians — A Thousand Indians 
Invade the District of Hamilton; Assaulted Cavet's Station; Took It, and 
Killed His Whole Family, Thirteen in Number — Pursued by Gen. Sevier — 
Marched to the Indian Towns — A Pattle at the Forks of Coosa and Hightow- 
er; Indians Routed; Their Towns Burned; Women and Children Suffered to 
Escape — Tlie Spaniards Supplied the Indians with Powder and Ball for This 
Expedition — Remarks on the Conduct of the Baron de Carondelet — Persons 
Killed by the Indians — Grand Jury of Hamilton Complain of the Federal 
Government; Called for Protection; Requested to Have a Legislature of Their 
Own — Indians Killed — WMiites Killed — Remarks on the Conduct of the Span- 
iards — Numbers in the Territory Entitled Tiiem to Legislature — Election of 
Members Authorized — Assembly Called by Proclamation; Met at Knoxville; 
Their Proceedings; Their Address to Congress — Indians Pursued and Routed 
by Capt. Evans — Persons Killed or Wounded by Them in 1794 — Indians Pur- 
sued and Killed by Capt. Ore — Spanish Incitations Began to Decline — Report 
of a Committee in Congress on the Metuorial of the Legislature; Recommend 
Calling Out the Militia— Persons Killed or Wounded in 1794 — Cherokees 
Took a Boat Descending the River, Killed the Whites Who Were in It, 
Took the Negroes, and Plundered the Boat — Persons Killed or Wounded — 
Creeks Pursued and One Taken; Court of Oyer and Terminer Called to Try 
Him; Tried, Condemned, and Executed— Creek Parties Out for War; Pursued 
by the Cherokees; Overtaken and Routed and Some Killed — Death-song — 
Scalp Dance — Bull Run Block-house Attacked — Another Party Overtaken by 
Capt. Evans; Routed and Some Killed — Lieut. McClellan Attacked and Routed 
by the Creeks — Persons Killed and Taken — Gov. Blount's Endeavors to Pro- 
cure Peace — His Arguments to the Creeks — Shows They Had No Claim to the 
Lands on the Cumberland — Creeks Inform Parker of Their Unwillingness to 
Join the Spaniards against the Expedition Expected from Kentucky — Per- 
sons Killed — Goods of the United States Intended for the Indians Destroyed 
— Cherokee Council Refuses to Give Up the Property Taken by the Cherokees — 
Large Body of Creeks March through the Cherokee Nation toward the Front- 
ier — The Occurrence of Events Favorable to Peace — Northern Indians De- 
feated by Gen. Wayne — Cherokees Send to Gov. Blount Soliciting Peace — 
Report of an Expedition against the Cherokees Intended by Gov. Logan — 
Gov. Blount W^rites to Him by Express — Conferences at Tellico — White Beads 
Presented by the Governor — Smoked the Pipe of Peace — Cherokee Chiefs 

262 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Pressed by the Governor to Bring Forward Their Prisoners — Exchange of Pris- 
oners — The Governor's Remarks to the Cherokees in Favor of Peace — Gov. 
Blount Wished to Break Up the Creek Nation as the Only Means of Safety to 
the People of the South-western Territory — McGillevray's Death — The Legis- 
lature Again Meets — The Council Ciiosen— The Proceedings of the Legislature 
— Sevier County and Knoxville Established — Transmit a List of Tiiose Who 
Were Killed Since Their Last Meeting to Congress, with an Address — The 
People Directed to V^ote For or Against a Convention to Erect the Territory 
Into a State — Gen. Knox's Report on the Means of Preserving Peace with the 

ON the 25tli of May, 1790, Congress passed a law for the gov- 
ernment of the country sonth-west of the river Ohio. They 
declared that for the purposes of temporary government it should 
be one district, the inhabitants of which should enjoy all the 
privileges, benefits, and advantages set forth in the ordinance of 
the late Congress, made in July, 1787, for the government of the 
territory of the United States north-west of the river Ohio, ex- 
cept so far as otherwise provided for in the conditions expressed 
in the act of Congress of the present session for accej)ting the 
cession made by North Carolina. One of these conditions, as 
will be seen by i-ecourse to the act, was that no regulations made 
or to be made I • Congress shall tend to emancipate slaves. 

To know precisely what this government was which was now 
extended over the whole of the ceded territory since called the 
State of Tennessee, recourse must be had to the ordinance itself, 
and to an act of Congress, amendatory of the ordinance, passed 
the 7th of August, 1789, which ordinance and act of Congress, 
together with the cession act of North Carolina, are inserted in 
the "Appendix." 

These preparations being duly made, President Washington 
proceeded to the nomination of proper ofiicers to exercise the 
territorial government as directed by the ordinance and its asso- 
ciate laws. William Blouat, of North Carolina, was appointed 
Governor of the Territory, and David Campbell and Joseph An- 
derson, judges. Gov. Blount received his commission on the 
7th of August, 1790, and arrived in the Territory South of the 
River Ohio, the name then given to the ceded territory, on the 
10th of October, 1790; and took up his residence at the house of 
Mr. Cobb, in the fork between the Holston and French Broad 
Rivers, and near Washington Court-house. He appointed and 
commissioned the officers, both civil and military, for the coun- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 263 

ties of Washington, Sullivan, Greene, and Hawkins, which 
formed the District of Washington, and had caused the neces- 
sary oaths to be administered to them by Judge Campbell in his 
presence. On the 27th of November, 1790, he set off for the 
District of Mero, which was then composed of the counties of 
Davidson, Sumner, and Tennessee, to appoint and commission 
the necessary officers tliere, and to cause the proper oaths to be 
administered to them. He could not appoint brigadier-generals, 
but recommended Col. Sevier for Washington, and Col. James 
Robertson for Mero. He had gone, by the 11th of February, 
1791, through all the counties, and had made many inqui- 
ries as to matters which it was proper for him to be aeqaainted 
with. He had sent Maj. King to the Cherokees with proposals 
to hold a treaty in the ensuing May, to make peace if possible, 
as the Creeks had done at New York on the 7th of August, 1790. 
The Cherokees were then divided into Northern and Southern. 
Hanging Maw was the leader of the North, and Little Turkey 
of the South. Maj. King reported that they manifested a great 
disposition for peace. 

In order to understand perfectly the motives which governed 
the conduct of Gov. Blount and of the government of the United 
States, under whose direction he acted, as well as that of the 
Creeks and Cherokees toward the people of the Territory during 
the time of his administration, which is to be detailed in the se- 
quel of this story, it will be proper to take a view of the circum- 
stances in which Gov. Blount found the Territory, of the opin- 
ions which were entertained, and of the politics which were 
embraced at this time by our neighbors, the Spaniards. 

Three millions of acres of land had been sold in John Arm- 
strong's office, and south and west of the line described as the 
line of allotment in the fourth article of the treaty of Hopewell. 
Nine-tenths of Greene and six-tenths of Hawkins had been en- 
tered in this office, and were part of the three millions men- 
tioned. In Greene County were eleven hundred militia-men. 
and in Hawkins five hundred. The settlements extended to the 
Clinch Biver, and some of the settlers had gone over the Clinch, 
and had seated themselves between that river and the Cumber- 
land Mountains. All these were on the lands allotted to the In- 
dians by the treaty of Hopewell. There were also other settlers 
south of the French Broad. They were there in violation of the 

264 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

law of North Carolina, passed in April, 1783, which made a part 
of the lands reserved for the Cherokee hunting-grounds to be 
bounded by a line running up the Tennessee and Holston, to 
the middle of the French Broad; thence up the middle of the 
French Broad River, which lines are not to include any island 
or islands in said river, to the mouth of Big Pigeon Creek; 
thence up the same to the head thereof; thence along tlie divid- 
ing ridge between the waters of the Pigeon and Tuckasejah 
Rivers, to the southern boundary of this State. They were 
there, also, against the treaty of Hopewell. Their numbers 
amounted to twelve hundred militia-men, and they were extend- 
ed over the ridge that divides the waters of Little River from 
those that flow into the Tennessee, down as low as Nine Mile 
Creek, a branch of the Tennessee, within five miles of Chota. 
The settlers of Greene and Hawkins Counties were on lands al- 
lotted by treaty to the Cherokees, which they had settled under 
the laws of North Carolina. The people south of the French 
Broad had settled in opposition to these laws, nor would the As- 
sembly of North Carolina ever form them into a county, though 
often solicited by petitions to do so. They firafc commenced 
their settlements under the assumed authority of the State of 
Frankland. The lands occupied by these settlers were very val- 
uable, and amounted to at least five hundred thousand acres, no 
part of which had been granted by the State of North Carolina, 
and would, upon the extinction of the Indian claim, be at the 
disposal of Congress. The settlers expected the right of pre- 
emption to be granted to them. The Assembly of North Caro- 
lina had provided in the cession act that the people then resid- 
ing south of the French Broad, between the rivers Tennessee 
and Big Pigeon, should not be precluded by that act from en- 
tering their preemptions in that tract of country, should an of- 
fice be opened for that purpose under an act of that Legislature. 
The Cherokees had not delivered the negroes and horses taken 
by them in the last war, as stipvilated by the first article of the 
treaty of Hopewell; but, on the contrary, the Cherokees and 
Creeks had taken horses in great numbers since the treaty of 
Hopewell, and chiefly from the quiet and orderly people of the 
District of Mero. They had taken from them since the treaty 
of Hopewell upwards of one thousand horses; they had taken 
ninety-three from the two Col. Robertsons, and seventy -two from 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 2G5 

live other persons. The Creeks had no claims to any lands north 
of the Tennessee. The Indians had then lately killed a number 
of persons in the Territory. North Carolina and Frankland had 
paid no regard to treaties, and the Cherokees followed their ex- 
ample. The Cherokees exacted pay for all the property they 
restored to their former owners. They had lately fired on Maj. 
Doherty's boat. It had not been ascertained on the 11th of Feb- 
ruary, 1781, whether the Indians would agree to the establish- 
ment of a post at the mouth of Bear Creek or not. 

Of the Tennessee company there were in the Territory on the 
arrival of Gov. Blount, Williams, Strother, and Gardner — all 
moneyless — who talked of raising a party, to go from the conflu- 
ence of the Holstou and French Broad, on the 10th of January, 
to the Muscle Shoals, there to form a settlement. They were 
not attended to, being supposed not able to effect any of their 
purposes; but about the 10th of January, Cox, another of the 
company, came over, and with him twenty-five or thirty men, 
who began to prepare in earnest to go down the river. The gov- 
ernor, on the receipt of a letter of the 13th of January, from 
the Secretary of War, dispatched Maj. White, of Hawkins 
County, to make known to them the President's proclamation, 
and to inform them that if they went to the Muscle Shoals the 
Indians would be immediately notified of it, and be at liberty to 
act toward them as they might think proper, without offense to 
the government of the United States; and to inform them that 
if the Indians would permit them to settle at the Muscle Shoals, 
the government of the United States would not. They were in- 
timidated by this communication, and began to doubt whether 
they should proceed or not; but it was expected that in the 
course of February three hundred men from Kentucky would 
proceed with a determination to settle the Yazoo. Such was 
the state of affairs at the time Gov. Blount arrived in the Ter- 

Spain for several years past, and indeed ever since the conclu- 
sion of the American war, had viewed with jealousy the exten- 
sion of our settlements toward the West and the diffusion of our 
political principles toward their own settlements on the Missis- 
sippi and in the Floridas. It became a settled object of policy 
with them to break up these settlements, if possible, or to with- 
draw them from their union with the Atlantic States. The first 

266 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

they thought to effect by their influence with the Southern In- 
dians, with whom they began to tamper as early as 1784; and to 
give themselves some color for interfering in their affairs they 
pretended a claim to part of the country of the United States 
far to the north of the 31st degree of north latitude. This pre- 
tense they absurdly founded upon the capture by their forces in 
the time of the war with Great Britain of some places within our 
bounds, which, as allies of the United States, they occupied for 
some time. They endeavored to effect the second object by de- 
nying our right to navigate the Mississippi, even down to the 
31st degree of north latitude, to which we owned all the territo- 
ry on the east side of the river. They unequivocally denied the 
right as to all parts of the river below the 31st degree of north 
latitude to the ocean, though the British were entitled to nav- 
igate the whole river by their treaty of 1763, and passed that 
right to us by the treaty of 1783, after which the British ceded 
to them the Floridas and the French Louisiana, subject inevita- 
bly to the right of navigation, derived to us long anterior to 
their claims to the adjoining counties. They hoped by render- 
ing the production of the western country of no value, for want 
of a market, to make the settlers remove into their territories, 
or otherwise to make it to their interest to separate from the At- 
lantic States, and to enter into arrangements with Spain suita- 
ble to her views, or to become her tributaries or dependents. 
America had been separated from England, and the latter pro- 
portionately disabled. The western part of America was now to 
be separated from the eastern part of it, to reduce her to so 
much imbecility as to free the Spanish possessions in America 
from danger. These were objects of no small moment. The 
Spanish government never lost sight of them till placed in cir- 
cumstances which demonstrated the impossibility of her ever 
succeeding. The entertainment by her of this policy will serve 
to explain every part of her conduct which shall be narrated in 
this history. At some periods when she had hopes of eft'ecting 
a separation, her officers paid the most flattering attention to 
our leading men, and granted commercial privileges which none 
but themselves could grant. At other times, when that hope 
faltered, hosts of savages were sent upon our frontiers, supplied 
with all munitions of war. When afraid of the rumored inva- 
sion of the western people, they recommended to the Indians 


peace with tboir neighbors, the Americans; and as soon as diffi- 
culties began to appear less formidable again excited them to 
war and mischief. Sometimes the leaders of our unprotected 
settlers, pretending esteem for their officers and a wish to be un- 
der their government, would procure an abatement of the hor- 
rors of war. But liberty to those settlers was of more value 
than all the benefits they had it in their power to bestow, and 
might have taught them, if the servants of despotism had known 
how to calculate, that however our leaders might in calamitous 
circumstances think proper to temporize, they never could en- 
tertain the serious wish to coalesce with them; and they might 
have understood that with the great body of the western people 
all the wealth of the Spaniards could not bear a comparison with 
this single article. During the whole time that the American 
negotiations were pending with Spain, from 1785 to 1795, orders 
were constantly repeated to our military officers on the frontier 
to behave toward the Spaniards with the utmost politeness, and to 
act only on the defensive against the Indians, for fear of offending 
the Spaniards, who had unjustifiably taken them under their pro- 
tection. The government itself submitted patiently to the Span- 
ish establishment of posts on the Walnut Hills and two hundred 
miles above, in 1791, judging it best to give a fair chance to the 
pending negotiation, and not to make any innovations in the 
state of things till it w^as over. At the same time, by military 
force, the American government prevented the Yazoo comj^any 
from settling themselves at the Walnut Hills. The American 
government was the more cautious in her expressions of dissat- 
isfaction at Spanish interference with the Indians in the terri- 
tory of the United States, because it was clearly perceived that 
the Spaniards had made them, in their policy, a barrier against 
our settlements, and for that reason were sensitive in an extraor- 
dinary degree upon any subject connected with either their 
or our behavior toward their Indian allies. In these negotia- 
tions the United States suffered much for patience's sake, and 
made it plain to the world that a true diplomatic politician must 
be deeply versed in the book of Job. 

The Spaniards even went so far as to be displeased because in 
the treaty of Hopewell the United States had taken the Creeks 
under their protection, so far as they were within their limits, 
that being incompatible with a former treaty of 1784, which they 

268 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee 

had made with the same people. What right had they to inter- 
meddle with inhabitants who lived in the United States' terri- 
tory? But the Americans forbore to ask the question. The 
Creeks fell upon them in 1792, after coming directly from the 
Spaniards at Pensacola. They then complained that the United 
States had stirred up the Chickasaws to war against their allies. 
The Spaniards by indulgence had become childish, and did not 
perceive that the United States could ask the question: "What 
right had nou to meddle either with the Creeks or Chickasaws? 
From our long forbearance they had conceived the extravagant 
notion that we were not to make opposition in any event. By 
this brief statement we shall be the better able to trace to its 
proper soiirce the greater part of those facts which are about to 
be unfolded. 

On the 23d of February, 1791, the President signed a commis- 
sion appointing Col. Sevier to be a brigadier-general of the mi- 
litia of Washington District, in the Territory of the United States 
South of the River Ohio. 

On the 28th of April Gen. Sevier informed the Secretary of 
War that the recruits called for should be raised and sent for- 
ward by the 1st of June. 

Before the month of June, in the year 1791, Zachariah Cox, 
with his brother William Cox, James Hubbard, Peter Bryant, 
John Ruddle, and several others, went down to the Muscle 
Shoals, and returned on the 2d of June to Knoxville. They 
were immediately arrested, by warrant from Judge Campbell, 
to answer for the offense. A short history of their transactions 
is this: Gilbert Strother & Co. proceeded down the Tennessee 
to an island in that part called the Muscle Shoals, on which they 
landed, built a block-house, and erected other works of defense. 
Shortly afterward appeared Glass, with about sixty Indians, and 
informed them that if they did not depart in peace the Indians 
would put them to death. After some conversation upon the 
subject, it was agreed that the company would and might move 
off in peace and without injury, and they accordingly did so. 
The Indians burned the works. But Cox and his party were still 
determined to make another attempt to form a settlement at the 
same place in the ensuing autumn. 

At the next term of the Superior Court for the District of 
Washington a bill of indictment was twice sent to the grand 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 269 

jury against Cox and his associates, and was returned at both 
times not a true bill. Cox and twenty young men fi'om Georgia 
seemed on this event to triiimph over the government, and were 
encouraged to persevere in the prospect of settling the Muscle 
Shoals. They immediately found purchasers for many thou- 
sands of acres of land, and made public declarations of their in- 
tentions to make another attempt, and that they would do so in 
great force, to be drawn from Maryland, Virginia, North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina, and Georgia; and that they would make 
the attempt in November, 1791, as soon as their forces could be 
collected, or as soon afterward as might be. Many of the grand 
jurors, it was supposed, had been themselves trespassers on the 
Cherokee lands, under grants from North Carolina. Strother 
went to the Chickasaws, and they at the block-house assured 
him of their friendship ; but he did not mention to them that he 
intended to settle in the country, and when truly informed of his 
objects they very strongly objected to them. 

Gov. Blount, by the 1st of July, had ascertained the whole 
population of the Territory, It amounted to 36,043, including 
3,417 slaves. The whole population of Cumberland was 7,042. 
He repealed by proclamation the licenses of several Indian 
traders, for transgressing the regulations made for the govern- 
ment of trade. 

A report was in circulation in the Cherokee Nation that it was 
the intention of Gov. Blount to draw them to the treaty ground 
and cut them all off. In consequence of it, many of them had 
made up their minds not to come to the treaty at all. Gen. Rob- 
ertson, being informed, went into the Nation about the 8th of 
June, 1791, and undeceived them, and revived their confidence 
in the United States. He completely effaced all the unfavora- 
ble impressions which had been made upon them. According 
to the invitation of Gov. Blount, the Cherokee chiefs met him 
at the treaty ground on the bank of the Holston, near the mouth 
of the French Broad Eiver, the place where Knoxville now 
stands; and on the 2d of July, 1791, they concluded a treaty of 
peace and perpetual friendship. 

On the 11th of November, 1791, it was ratified by the Presi- 
dent and Senate, and the President issued his proclamation, 
commanding its observance. 

The hostility of the Indians was very distressing through a 


great part of 1791. In the month of May of the same year John 
Farris and his brother, of Lincoln County, about three miles 
from home, were fired upon by a party of Indians, who wound- 
ed Farris in the shoulder and broke his arm. Also, in the same 
month, in Nelson County, Ky., from the Eolling Fork, a number 
of horses were taken. One Miller and his family, five in num- 
ber, were killed, and his house robbed. This party was followed 
southwardly. One Indian was killed v/hen they were overtaken, 
and one wounded. On Tuesday, the 23d of August, 1791, near 
Mockason Gap, in Russell County, Ya., Mrs. McDowell, wife of 
William McDowell, and Frances Pendleton, daughter of Benja- 
min Pendleton, aged about seventeen ye^rs, were killed and 
scalped. Mrs. Pendleton and a boy eight years of age were car- 
ried into captivity. At the same place, on Friday, the 26th of 
August, 1791, at 8 o'clock in the morning, seven Indians came to 
the plantation of Elisha Farris, killed and scalped Mrs. Farris, 
Mrs. Livingston, and a child of Mrs. Livingston, about three 
years of age; and wounded Mr. Farris, so that he died at about 
2 o'clock. They carried off Nancy Farris, aged about nineteen 
years. The Indians stripped those they had killed on both days, 
and laid the women on their backs extended at full length. 

A short time before the 14th of June, 1791, several white men 
were killed in Powell's Valley, in Russell County, Va.; and 
shortly before the 15tli of July, 1791, a party of Creeks were 
seen on the Lookout Mountain, of the Cherokees, with three 
scalps, which they acknowledged they had taken from Cumber- 
land. On the Wednesday preceding the 5th of September, 1791, a 
party of Indians killed James Patrick in Poor Valley, about seven- 
teen miles from Hawkins Court-house and three miles from the 
main Kentucky road. He had gone out to drive up his cattle, and 
was not more than four hundred yards from the house when the 
Indians fired upon him. They instantly made off without at- 
tempting to scalp him. About the 10th of November a compa- 
ny going through the wilderness were met in the road by a party 
of Indians. Upon the first sight their men, being seven in num- 
ber, rode off with the utmost precipitation, and left the women, 
four in number, who were so terrified that they were unable to 
proceed. The Indians came up, shook hands with them, and 
told them they should not be hurt; made a fire for them, and 
caught a horse which one of the company had jumped from, 


wliicli tliey tied to a tree ; they went after a small boy who was at- 
tempting to escape, and brought him back to the women. Four 
of the fugitives did not stop till they reached the settlement; 
the other three, after some time, returned to the women. 

Gov. Blount recommended to Gen. Robertson, in the most 
earnest terms, to preserve the treaty of the Holston inviolate, 
and to punish the infractors of it, if any such should be found. 
He enjoined it upon the general to maintain a friendly de- 
meanor toward the Indians, and to furnish such of them as ap- 
plied with small presents — such as provisions, powder and ball — 
and to keep an account of the supplies to be paid by the United 

Bowles, a man of some consideration among the Creeks, had 
gone in the year 1790, with several Indians of the Southern 
tribes, to England, where to a certain degree they had received 
countenance and support. During the summer of 1791 he sailed 
from England, enriched with presents, for the Bahama Islands. 
After arriving at the Bahamas, he sailed for Indian River, in 
East Florida; and thence proceeded to that part of the Creek 
country which was inhabited by the Seminoles, where he arrived 
in September, 1791. 

The Creeks were then preparing to execute the treaty made be- 
tween them and the United States at New York, in August, 1790. 
They had chosen the chiefs to attend at the Rock Landing, 
on. the 1st of October, the time stated for running the bound- 
ary line agreed upon in the treaty, AVhite Bird, king of the Cus- 
setahs, being of the commission. Bowles appeared at this junc- 
ture. The presents he brought with him and his bold assertions 
caused great agitation and hesitancy amongst the ignorant part, 
and of course amongst the mass of the Creeks. Although a con- 
siderable part of the Upper Creeks, and indeed of all the res- 
pectable chiefs, were for running the line, he pretended that he 
had powers from the British Government to conclude a treaty 
with the Creeks, the basis of which should be a revocation on 
their parts of the treaty with the United States, and a guaran- 
tee of their lands. He declared that he would write to Georgia, 
and prevent the running of the lines; and he accordingly wrote 
to the commissioners who were waiting at the Rock Landing ex- 
pecting the Creek chiefs, by a letter dated the 26th of October, 
at Usuchees, and signed "Gen. William A. Bowles, Director of 

272 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

the Affairs of the Creek Nation." He asserted that Alexander 
McGillivray had deceived the Indians in the treaty made at New 
York, but that he was willing to form a treaty with the United 
States in behalf of the Creek Nation, and declared that the for- 
mer treaty should not be executed. The Indians, distracted by 
his artifices, entreated of the United States to wait till spring 
before they should mark the boundary, saying that if Bowles 
should then turn out to be an impostor they would attend and 
run the dividing lines without further difficulty. 

A considerable detachment of the troops of the United States 
and Mr. Ellicutt, the surveyor, and three respectable commis- 
sioners from the State of Georgia, were assembled punctually at 
the Eock Landing, on the Oconee, the 1st of October; and they 
waited for the Creek chiefs till the 1st of November, when, de- 
spairing of effecting the business they came upon that season, 
they returned home. 

Gov. Blount, attending to every improvement which the ne- 
cessities of his new government required, in order to give infor- 
mation to the people and to be able to communicate quickly 
whatever intelligence he wished to spread amongst them, pro- 
cured Mr. Roulstone, a printer, to come with his printing-press 
to Eogersville. On the 5tli of November, 1791, the first printing- 
press ever introduced into the Territory was set up by Mr. Roul- 
stone, at Rogersville ; and on that day issued the first number of 
the Knoxville Gazette, though Knoxville was not laid off till Feb- 
ruary, 1792. It was then laid off upon the ground on which the 
treaty had been held and made with the Cherokees, on the 2d of 
July, 1791. 

To prevent the coalition of the southern with the northern 
Indians, who had defeated Gen. St. Clair on the 4th of Novem- 
ber of this year, the President had devised the plan of inducing 
the former, if possible, to join the United States in their war 
against the northern tribes. This would create a misunder- 
standing that would for a long time to come prove an effectual 
bar to the coalescence of their forces. Gov. Blount was earnest- 
ly solicited to hold a treaty at Nashville in the ensuing sum- 
mer, to which he should invite the Choctaws, Chickasaws, and 
Cherokees, and to make the proposal to them. Gen. Pickens was 
requested, by a letter from the Secretary of State, to attend, and 
to use his influence for the promotion of these designs. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 273 

It was to be expected, after the end of the Revolutionary War 
in 1783, when the Indians were no longer urged on by British 
incitements, nor backed by their resources, that their propensi- 
ties for war with the United States would naturally have died 
away, and would have been replaced by amicable dispositions. 
The experience of eight years had proved the contrary, and that 
the disinclination of the savages toward the United States was 
now as excessive as ever. As the new Constitution had devolved 
upon the government of the Union the power to make treaties 
and to carry on war. it of course fell to the lot of the President 
to investigate the causes of their dissatisfaction, in order to 
learn what remedy could be most properly applied to the disor- 
der. On the 16th of January, 1792, he referred it to the Secre- 
tary of War, to report to him the causes of the inveterate and 
deep-rooted enmity of the Indians. On the 26th of the same 
month the report was made and submitted to public examina- 

This report afforded the melancholy foreboding that humane 
expedients for the maintenance of peace would have but very 
transient effects; and that, like nocturnal moonlights breaking- 
through the clouds and falling in parcels upon the marginal for- 
est, the fragments of hostility would still break upon the frontier 
settlements through every opportunity that offered. Notwith- 
standing the treaty of Holston, the Cherokee towns of Running 
W^ater, Nickajack, Long Island Villages, Crow Town, and Look- 
out Mountain gave strong indications, early in the year 1792, 
of hostile intentions. The four towns first named lay on the 
south bank of the Tennessee, and were the common crossing- 
places of the Creeks and northern tribes, as they passed, which 
they frequently did, from one nation to the other. The fifth 
was situated on a creek of the same name, about twelve miles 
south of the other four. They were all quite detached from the 
other towns of the Cherokees, divided therefrom by the Chata- 
nuga Mountains. In the early part of March, 1792, the five 
lower towns had a scalp dance, also the eagle tail dance— the 
forerunners of war. All declared themselves for war against 
the United States, and for joining the Shawnees. On the 22d of 
March, 1792, "The Glass," of Lookout Mountain, and "The 
Turtle," the head men of "The Running W^ater," arrived at their 
respective towns, "The Glass" having a white girl, aged about 

274 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

eight years, a prisoner, and two scalps. The girl said tlie party 
of which she was consisted of her father and two other men, 
her mother, and several children, on their way from Natchez to 
Nashville, and that her mother and one child were killed and 
scalped. The men of the party escaped. The account of the 
girl accorded with that of the Indians themselves. Little Tur- 
key, the principal chief of the Cherokees, was so incensed at 
the conduct of the five towns that he forbade in positive terms, 
in a general talk addressed to his nation, all intercourse and 
society with them. 

Appearances were so threatening as made it proper to guard 
the frontiers. Gov. Blount, on the 1st of April, 1792, authorized 
Gen. Robertson to call into active service one hundred and fifty- 
two militia-men, and informed the general at the same time that 
he would send Oapt. Cooper with his company into the Cumber- 
land settlements; and at the expiration of their term of service, 
which was three months, he caused their places to be supplied 
by new levies. Gen. Robertson, in his letter, attributed the war 
of the Indians to Spanish instigation. 

On the 6th of April, 1792, a party of Indians, five or six in 
number, went to the house of Harper Ratcliff, in Stanley Valley, 
about twenty miles from Hawkins Court-house, and killed his 
wife and three children, plundered the house, and instantly made 
off. They left behind them three war clubs, a bow, and sheaf 
of arrows, to signify that war was declared. Upon this event, 
the company under the command of Capt. James Cooper, which 
was ordered to proceed to Mero District, received orders to 
range on the frontiers of Hawkins County. They were ordered 
to range from the Virginia line to the Powder Spring Gap, on 
Clinch Mountain, and from the Powder Spring Gap to the river 

About the beginning of April, in the year 1792, a party of In- 
dians, at the foot of the Cumberland Mountains, were fired on 
by the white people. The head man of the Hiwassee was killed, 
and their camp plundered. On the same day a woman and chil- 
dren were killed, on their own plantation, near the Clinch, just be- 
low the Virginia line. Such was the irreconcilable hatred which 
the Indians and whites had contracted for each other, by a long- 
continued course of aggression and sufferings, that it was almost 
as impossible for the government of the United States to restrain 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 275 

some of her citizens from acts of enmity as it was for the Indian 
chiefs to restrain and keep within bounds all those who were of 
their nation. 

On the 5th of April, 1792, as a Cherokee with four squaws 
was passing peaceably near the house of James Hubbard, on 
the French Broad River, two guns were discharged at him. One 
ball grazed his cheek; another passed through his side, giving 
him a slight wound. Hubbard was one of those who went down 
the Tennessee in the spring of the year 1791, to attempt a set- 
tlement at the Muscle Shoals, and suspicion fell on his two sons, 
who lived with him, as having fired the guns at this Indian. 
The frontier settlers, so far from approving, held this act in 
great abhorrence. They were satisfied with the treaty of the 
Holston, and were resolved to preserve it inviolate if they 

On the 5th of April, 1792, a party of Indians, supposed to be 
Cherokees, stole a number of horses from Cox's settlement 
and the neighborhood of Powell's Valley, in Virginia. They 
took the Kentucky trace through the Cumberland Mountain to 
Yellow Creek, to which place they were followed by two men, 
who returned without overtaking them. Col. Cox then set out 
with a party of men down Powell's Valley, to a gap in the Cum- 
berland Mountain, where he was persuaded they must pass in 
recrossing the mountain to reach their towns, if Cherokees. On 
his way down, about 2 o'clock in the morning of the 6th, near 
the Indian old towns, on the land known by Henderson's sur- 
vey, he fell in with an Indian camp; which he fired into, and 
killed a Cherokee chief named Hootaquah, or Big Aron, and 
wounded two others, who made their escape. Amongst the arti- 
cles found in this camp were a number of halters, some chil- 
dren's apparel, and some cotton on quills. It was soon ascer- 
tained that the party of Indians who had killed Mrs. Eatclifi' 
was headed by one Bench, a Cherokee by birth, who for some 
time past had resided amongst the northern Indians, and who 
may be considered as belonging to the latter nation. 

The Creeks about this time expelled Bowles from, their na- 
tion, and again re-instated McGillevray in his ofiice; who imme- 
diately requested the Governor of Georgia to make provision for 
two thousand men, who would be present at running the lines 
agreed on by the Creek treaty of August, 1790. Bowles, with a 

276 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

party of Indians, had lately robbed a Spanish store, for which 
the Spaniards took him into custody. 

About the 1st of May, 1792, six hundred Indians invaded the 
county of Fayette, in Kentucky, burned Frankfort, and killed 
fifty persons. 

About the last of April three Indians stole horses from 
Crooked Creek, in Kentucky. They were pursued and over- 
taken. At the Big Tellico the white people were joined by 
some Indians, who were active in the pursuit and recovery of 
the horses. 

On Sunday, the 17th of May, Gov. Blount visited the Indian 
town of Cayette, and was received with tokens of highest respect 
and affection. He staid there till Thursday, holding public and 
private discourses with the chiefs, many of whom were from the 
lower towns, and unanimously expressed their contrition for the 
depredations committed since the treaty of Holston, and their 
firm determination to prevent them for the future. But if these 
chiefs were really in earnest, they had not the means of compel- 
ling the observance of the treaty; for on the 10th of May, as two 
sons of Mr. Wells, in Hindes's Valley, within twelve miles of 
Knoxville, were picking strawberries, six Indians came up, tom- 
ahawked and scalped them in his view, and went off without 
making further attempts on his family. Suspicion attached to 
the Creeks and Cherokees. Early in the morning of the 17th 
Judge Campbell and his party, on th^ir return from Cumber- 
land, four miles east of Emery's River, M^ere attacked by a party 
of Indians, who fired on them in front and killed William Clack, 
the only person in the company who had a gun. 

About the last of May a party of Indians fired upon a man 
who was hunting horses, between German and Flat Creeks, near 
the end of the Clinch Mountain. Four balls passed through his 
clothes and shattered his powder-horn, without grazing his skin. 
The same Indians, early in June, stole a number of horses from 
German Creek. 

In the month of June of this year the Governor established 
two new counties, Knox and Jefferson. 

On Saturday, the 11th of August, 1792, a party of Indians at- 
tacked a house at New Garden, Russell County, Va., killed six- 
teen persons, and took a woman and her children prisoners. A 
company of horsemen followed them and retook the prisoners. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 277 

On the 24tli of August the Creeks killed and scalped Mr. Ram- 
sey, an old resident among the Cherokees, and a person recent- 
ly arrived from Charleston, at the beloved town of Estanaula, 
among the Cherokees in open day. They declared it was their 
orders and determination to kill the Virginians wherever they 
could find them, for thus tbey called all the citizens of the 
United States. This outrage gave offense to the Cherokees. 
The Creeks, also, about the same time, committed similar out- 
rages upon the whites resident in the Choctaw and Chickasaw 
Nations, killing all of them they could find, calling them Virgin- 
ians, and proclaiming that they would kill them wherever they 
could find them. 

On the 6th of September, 1782, John Cochrane, as he was re- 
turning home to his father's house on Little River, was fired on 
by three Indians. Two balls passed through his clothes, without 
doing him any further injury. 

On the 3d of October, 1792, Black's block-house, on the head 
of Crooked Creek, a branch of Little River, at which there was 
a sergeant's command, was attacked by surprise, an hour and a 
half in the night, by a party commanded by a Cherokee of Wills' 
Town, called "The Tail," a brother of "The Bench" and Tolot- 
iskee, consisting of three other Cherokees and five Creeks. James 
Paul was killed in the house, and George Morse and Robert 
Sharp at a fire on the outside, and John Shackland wounded. 
Three horses were killed and seven taken. Five of the Chota 
Indians and eight of the Chilhowee were with Tolotiskee when, 
in November, 1792, they killed several white men on the Ken- 
tucky River. 

Early in October, 1792, young Gillespie was conducted in safe- 
ty to Nine Mile Creek, Craig's Station, by John Christian and 
two young Cherokees — the warrior's son and Kulsatahee — from 
Estanaula, where he was purchased from the eight Creeks who 
took him, by James Carey, with the assistance and interposition 
of Chunelah and other chiefs of the Upper Cherokees, for two 
hundred and fifty pounds of leather, equal to $83.30, and a horse 
estimated at £15. The Creeks value a white prisoner and a 
negro at the same price, and treat them equally as slaves. 
Young Gillespie was taken from his father's house, within twen- 
ty miles of Knoxville, on the 12th of September. His elder 
brother was killed and scalped by the same party. Many of the 


chiefs were now in openly professed hostility, who as late as 
July in this year gave the most unequivocal proofs of attach- 
ment to the United States. This sudden change of conduct 
was at the time attributed to the Spanish government. 

On Saturday, the 6th of October, 1792, a company of travel- 
ers, on their way from Kentucky through the Territory, were 
fired upon in the wilderness, and two men were killed, and one 
said to be mortally wounded. The party who attacked this com- 
pany consisted of sixty warriors, and were headed by the noted 
Cherokee chief, Tolotiskee, a signer of the treaty of the Holston, 
and one who accompanied John Watts on his visit to Gov. Oneal 
in July and August, 1792. Inspired with the spirit of war by 
the persuasions of Gov. Oneal, as the people of the Territory 
believed, he painted himself black before he left Pensacola, de- 
clared himself for war, and with that appearance and spiiit he 
passed through the Creek Nation. While he was at Pensacola 
Gov. Oneal showed him five magazines. "This," said he, "is 
for the Cherokees, that for the Creeks, these two for the Choc- 
taws and Chickasaws, and this for ourselves, to assist you if nec- 

The Cherokees, some time in the month of October, 1792, 
agreed with the Creeks to erect three strong stockade forts, with 
block-houses — one at the confluence of the Tennessee and Clinch 
Rivers; the second in the Running Water Town, on the Tennes- 
see; and the third at the Creek's crossing-place, near the Mus- 
cle Shoals — by which means they expected to be able conveni- 
ently to continue occasi(mally their hostile depredations on any 
part of our south-western territory. Every thing wore the ap- 
pearance of war; but Hanging Maw desired to be at peace and 
not to be disturbed, as he would remain at home. 

On the night of the 5th of November, 1792, five Creeks, head- 
ed by young Lashley, the son of a Scotchman in the Creek Na- 
tion, the same that headed the party who killed and captured 
Gillespy's sons on the 12th of September, came in upon the 
waters of the Little River, about twenty miles from Knoxville, 
and stole and took off eight horses. They were tracked toward 
Chilhowee, the nearest Cherokee town. This gave reason to sus- 
pect the Chilhowee Indians of the theft, whereupon as many as 
fifty-two of the neighboring people, including the sufferers, as- 
sembled together in arms, and resolve'd to go and destroy Cliil- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 279 

Iiowee and Talassee, a little adjacent town; and actually did 
march, but Gen. Sevier, receiving information of their intentions, 
dispatched orders to them to disperse and return home, which 
the}' did. As young Lashley passed the Cherokees he assured 
them that the Spaniards had ordered the Creeks to go to war 
against the United States, and had supplied them with arras 
and ammunitions for the purpose; and as an evidence of the 
truth of what he said, he called their attention to four of his 
party having new guns, which they were going to use as the 
Spaniards had directed.' 

In the latter part of October sixteen Indians, with arms, passed 
from the north to the south of the Ohio. Their trail was dis- 
covered where they crossed the trace between the Cumberland 
and the Kentucky, and it was believed that they crossed the 
trace which leads from Knoxville to Nashville, and fired the 
woods to prevent the discovery of their trail. These were sup- 
posed to be Cherokees, called home on the declaration of war; 
or Shawnees, coming to the aid of the Cherokees; or a mixture 
of both. 

On Monday, the 12th of November, 1792, a party of fifteen 
Cherokees attacked the house of Mr. Ebenezer Byron, in Grassy 
Valley, about eight miles from Knoxville, in which were only 
two men with their families. The Indians had surrounded the 
house before they were discovered, and forced open a window 
and pointed their guns into it, when by a timely and well-directed 
fire from the two men two of the Indians were wounded, and 
the rest put to flight without firing a gun, leaving one of the 
wounded behind, who was shot through the head by a second 
fire from the house. From the quantity and pieces of bone 
which were found upon the trace, a small distance from the 
house, it was presumed that the other Indian had received a 
mortal wound. The irruptions of the Indians became so fre- 
quent and destructive as to call for the interposition of an armed 
force. Gen. Sevier was ordered into service, and with his main 
force was stationed at South-west Point, thirty -nine miles from 
Knoxville. This point is formed by the junction of the Clinch 
and Tennessee Rivers. The other part of his brigade was posted 
in the different points of the frontiers for the protection of the 
frontier inhabitants. 

On Friday, the 22d of November, Capt. Samuel Henley, of 

280 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Washington County, marched from South-west Point (Gen. Se- 
vier's camp), with forty men, for the District of Mero, there to 
perform a three months' tour for the protection of the district. 
Early on Sunday morning he was fired upon by a party of In- 
dians, who had formed an ambuscade upon a well-chosen piece 
of ground, near the Flat Rock in the Cumberland Mountains. 
Thirty-two of his party returned to Gen. Sevier's camp, and re- 
ported the number of Indians at from one hundred and sixty to 
two hundred and fifty. They saw Henley taken by the Indians. 
There were eight others missing, supposed to be killed. The 
Indians discovered that Henley had passed on the road near 
about the Crab Orchard, and pursued him the distance of 
twenty-five miles, passing him on Saturday night about three 
miles. The names of the men who were missing were: Capt. 
Henley, Lewis Carr, Armstead Morgan, Samuel Leiper, Edward 
Burke, John Primer, William Harrison, Charles Hays, and 
James Martin. 

Three parties of Cherokees and Creeks, in the latter part of 
November, 1792, went from their towns upon some enterprise 
against the white settlements. Col, Watts headed one party of 
twenty men. The other two parties consisted one of thirty, the 
other of fifty men. 

Early in the same month three Creeks — two fellows and a 
squaw— who had gone into the settlements of Tugulo, in Geor- 
gia, on friendly purposes, were fired on by a party of neighbor- 
ing white people, at or near the house of Bryan Wood. The 
two former were killed and the latter wounded, but she escaj^ed 
to her nation and friends. It seemed as if the government of 
the white people was as equally incapable of restraining the 
whites from excesses as was the government of the Indians in 
restraining them, and that a state of war was inevitable. 

On the 5th of November a marauding party from Elliot 
County, in the State of Georgia, destroyed the Cherokee town 
Estotee by fire, and killed two of the inhabitants — a fellow and 
a squaw. 

It was now ascertained wlio was the Indian killed at Byron's. 
He was "The Blackfish," of Chota, a fellow who had long lived 
in the most intimate habits of friendship with the white people. 
The one wounded, it was also learned, was "The Forked-horn- 
buck," of Sitico, a town not far distant from the frontiers of 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 281 

North Carolina. The remainder of the party consisted mostly 
of warriors from the lower towns. 

On the 6th of November, 1792, a detachment of the Ken- 
tucky militia, under the command of Maj. Adair, were attacked 
by a party of Indians, near Fort St. Clair, and after a short en- 
gagement were forced to retreat. The Indians took off one 
hundred and forty pack-horses. 

On Saturday, the 22d of December, 1792, a party of Indians 
went to the house of Mr. Richardson, in Jefferson County, on 
the Little Pigeon, twenty-five miles from Knoxville, and killed 
Mrs. Richardson, Mrs. Foster, Miss Schull, and two children 
with tomahawks and a war club, the latter of which they left in 
the house. They robbed the house and went off. They had laid 
in wait upon a hill which overlooked Richardson's door many 
hours, and took the opportunity of his absence only half an hour 
to massacre his family. 

On Monday, the 31st of December, the Indians drove eighteen 
head of horses from the Big Pigeon, in Jefferson County, near 
where Richardson's family were killed, and wantonly killed sev- 
eral cattle and hogs. These Indians were from Nickajack. On 
the next Sunday John Bartram, in the same neighborhood, in 
search of his horses, saw two Indians attempting to catch them, 
upon which he fired at one, who dropped his arms; but it was 
feared that he did not kill him. 

Mrs. Crockett and eight children were killed in December, 
1792, on the frontier of Georgia by the Creeks. The white peo- 
ple now learned that Capt. Henley was a prisoner at Wills 
Town, in the Cherokee Nation. 

On the 25th of December, in the year 1792, messengers from 
Watts arrived at Gov. Blount's house with what they called 
peace talks for him. The distressed people, and particularly 
those of the frontiers, were pleased with the intelligence. They 
did not reflect that preceding treaties had only thrown the white 
people off their guard, and caused them to be more exposed than 
otherwise they would have been. 

Let us now turn back to the beginning of May, in this year, 
and explore the sources of the disorders into which the Indian 
nations were thrown soon afterward, and of those acts of hostil- 
ity which they committed upon our people with such fatal fre- 
quency in the course of this year; for on the 20th of May, 1792, 

282 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

when the goods were to be divided amongst the Cherokees, which 
were delivered to them pursuant to the treaty of 1791, Gov. 
Blount, at the pressing invitation of the chiefs, went to Coyatee, 
where he was received by the chiefs and two thousand Cherokees 
with all the tokens of respect and joy that it was possible to man- 
ifest. The chiefs and warriors of the lower towns arrived at Coy- 
atee a few days before. They marched in, painted black, sj^rink- 
led over with flour, to signify that they had been at war, but were 
then for peace. They were received by the other chiefs under the 
standard of the United States. In the address of Gov. Blount 
to them he mentioned the massacres which had been lately com- 
mitted, and the horses which had been stolen, and said that it 
was with much difficulty he had been able to restrain the suffer- 
ers from taking satisfaction. He specified the instances and 
the number of horses and prisoners which had been taken; and 
he stated to them that it was necessary that there should be not 
only a disposition in the chiefs to keep the treaty unbroken, but 
a restraint of their people also from the commission of offenses. 
The President, he said, loved the red men, but could not suffer 
their people to kill the white people, and yet continue in peace 
with them; their young men must be restrained. He had or- 
dei'ed, he said, a part of the militia upon the frontiers from the 
Holston to the Clinch, and up the Clinch, and upon the frontiers 
to the Cumberland; but they were not ordered into the Indian 
country, the only object in calling them out being to prevent the 
bad Cherokees from coming to the settlements of the white peo- 
ple. Their people, in coming to visit him, he said, must come 
to Craig's Station. No one had been killed in that neighbor- 
hood, and the people were not so much irritated as in other 
places; and he informed them that the prisoners must be deliv- 
ered at the ensuing council at Estanaula. "The Breath," of 
Nickajack, promised a return of the prisoners, and to find out 
who had done the mischiefs complained of; and to state their 
names at the meeting of the council of Estanaula, and he deliv- 
ered to the Governor a string of white beads, the iisual token of 

"The Hanging Maw" gave public notice that the great coun- 
cil was to meet at Estanaula on the 23d of June, to hear the re- 
port of Gen. Eskaqua and of the other agents, and desired that 
all the chiefs might be present. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 283 

At this time it is a fact which ought to be particularly noticed 
that Gen. Eskaqua and John Watts were so forward in promot- 
ing the plans of peace, and seemed to be so greatly pleased at 
the peaceable appearances held by the chiefs of the lower towns, 
that they were considered and called by the Governor the cham- 
pions of peace. We shall soon see John Watts a leader in the 
attack on John Buchanon's Station. 

We are to search for the powerful influence which transformed 
his sentiments in the conferences which they soon after held at 
Pensacola, preparatory to the attack on Buchanon's Station. 

Gov. Blount, no longer able to be a tame spectator of the num- 
berless injuries inflicted upon his country, nor to view the suf- 
ferings of the unoffending inhabitants with the cold indifference 
which is said to have marked the conduct of the government of 
the Union at this time, ordered Gen. Sevier into service with a 
part of his brigade. The main force was stationed, in Novem- 
ber, 1792, at South-west Point, and small detachments at differ- 
ent stations on the frontiers, which proved exceedingly useful 
for securing the District of Washington against the assaults of 
the Indians. To alleviate the censure which the impatience of 
the western people, excruciated with suffering, began to utter, it 
is to be remembered that the Indian war to the north and the 
western insurrection gave full employment to all the faculties of 
the government, and left no time for the prosecution of others. 
The proportion of the new levies called forth to suppress the in- 
surrection was demanded from the Territory; but such was the 
tardiness of the inhabitants and their disinclination to the serv- 
ice that the requisition was never completely complied with. 
The people murmured, and said it was peculiarly hard that the 
South-western Territory should be called upon for three hundred 
men, when they were every day harassed with Indian massa- 
cres and robberies, without any aid from the government to 
shield them from their outrages. Probably the truth is that a 
considerable portion of the people who lived in the Territory at 
that time were averse to the exhibition of governmental energies, 
and secretly dreaded the extent of their consequences. The unin- 
structed rambler, who has for some time traversed the wilderness 
and tyrannized over its inhabitants, free as the air he breathes, 
will never fail to view the first precedent that shall be set for 
forcing a compliance with regulations as the beginning of tyr- 

284 Haywood's history or Tennessee. 

anuy over himself, and, tliougli willing to be lord of the crea- 
tion, he contemplates with the utmost aversion the exercise of 
lordly power over himself. 

The Indians, though they rioted in the excess of cruelty 
against the people of Cumberland and the Holston, and were 
preparing to bring fresh and multiplied misfortunes upon them, 
were viewed by the government of the Union with indifference, 
and not even with displeasure. The people of the United States 
turned a deaf ear to the tale of suffering anguish which the 
western people never ceased to utter. They were unwilling to 
incur the expenses of more Indian wars, and they held all that 
could be said upon the subject as a threadbare story, which they 
had no longer any patience to hear. And notwithstanding the 
great danger to which the people were hourly exposed, the gov- 
ernment was inclined to disband the militia which was stationed 
on the frontiers for their protection. 

Gen. Sevier fixed his encampment, and determined to erect a 
fort at a spring a small distance above the confluence of the rivers 
Tennessee and Clinch. The situation was not altogether so com- 
manding and elegant as at the extreme point of the peninsula, 
where there is no water except that of the river, which is six hun- 
dred perpendicular feet, at least, below the surface of the ground 
above, and in the fork, suitable for a garrison. At this place it 
was very unlikely that water could be got by digging; the pros- 
pect at the spring was extensive and handsome, the water pleas- 
ant and conducive to health. At this place both rivers were suf- 
ficiently under the command of the garrison, and accessible on 
either side. In addition to these advantages was the spring, 
which would be under the walls, or within them if necessary. 
The possession of this place would effectually prevent the inter- 
course between the upper and lower Cherokees, together with 
that of the small tribes of Northwards settled on the Tennessee; 
which communication extended at least three hundred miles up 
and down the river, and up the river Clinch, which takes its 
rise in the vicinity of the Ohio and the Cole and Sandy, two 
branches of the latter, by which advantages they had but a small 
passage by land, from either of these rivers into the Clinch, 
which communicates with the Tennessee. It would also obstruct 
the passage of the Indians up and down the Clinch Eiver, which 
the Creeks and Cherokees used in going and returning on their 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 285 

iucnrsive expeditions up this river. The northern and southern 
tribes often passed in canoes one hundred and fifty miles, up and 
down, to its junction with the Tennessee, and then up or down 
this latter river into any part of the Cherokee country. A gar- 
rison fixed at the situation before mentioned would not only de- 
stroy the water communication, but, being directly on the road 
between the southern and northern tribes, would obstruct their 
passage by land. 

The only two practicable fords on the Tennessee were both 
within five miles of this place; the same number on the Clinch, 
which were only eight miles from the same place; and the main 
gap in the Cumberland Mountain, not more than ten. The 
whole would be under the eye of a garrison at the spring, and 
their marauding gangs would be constantly exposed to the pur- 
suits and chastisements of the scouting parties from the fort, 
which at this spot would be at the center of their intercourse 
and nation, in the way to their hunting-ground, and so near to 
the body of the nation as would enable the troops at all times 
to fall suddenly upon them, and to expel them from the country 
if necessary. In thirty hours from this place by water any of 
the towns might be attacked, or in forty-eight by land. All nec- 
essary stores could be exported by water from any part of the 
District of Washington to this place. These reasons determined 
the general to make selection of this place. The Governor ap- 
proved of them. The place was called South-west Point by 
Gen. Sevier. Block-houses and a stockade fort w.ere built near 
the spring. The time of the six wrecks men being about to ex- 
pire, they were ordered to be detained till the arrival of the new 
levies, which were raised to supply their places, and the general 
received special directions to maintain in all events the position 
he occupied. About this time the Indians made an attack upon 
Byron's house. The flames of war began to spring up in all 
parts of the frontiers to which the savages dared to vent are. 
And Capt. Childress's company of six weeks men applied to the 
general for their discharge. 

Gov. Blount, in the course of his correspondence with the 
Cherokee chiefs and others, had got into the full possession of 
one fact: that whenever it was proposed to the Cherokees to join 
the United States against the Shawnees, they manifested the ut- 
most indignation at it. They had some intimation, in the spring 

286 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

of 1792, of the proposal intended to be made at the treaty, which 
was to be held at Nashville in the summer, and received it with so 
much disgust that "The Bloody Fellow," who had lately returned 
from visiting the President at Philadelphia, and was there made 
Gen. Eskaqua, was afraid for the future to disclose his wishes 
on that head. "For," said Gov. Blount in his letter to the Sec- 
retary of War, "he has consequence as a leader no longer than 
whilst he follows the wishes of the young warriors, and either 
indulges, abets, or heads them, in the execution of their wishes, 
or proposes only what is acceptable to them." 

In the month of November, 1792, Gov. Blount explained to 
the Secretary of War the causes of the unceasing hostilities of 
the Indian. He remarked that the evils inflicted upon the set- 
tlers before the Spanish Conferences at Pensacola and Natchez, 
which he referred to, could not be charged on the Spaniards, as 
very few of them had happened since Watts returned from Pen- 
sacola; but maybe accounted for from Indian education, that all 
national honors were acquired amongst them by the shedding of 
blood. Consequently all who wished for national honor would 
shed the blood of the white people, as Indians no longer killed 
Indians, the ancient practice when the principle was established. 
Another reason for these depredations was the white people — 
the greatest of all rascals — and the half-breeds, who are numer- 
ous, living among the Creeks and Cherokees. The greater part 
of them were traders, and encouraged the Indians to steal horses 
from the citizens of the United States, to the end that they 
might purchase them. If they took horses and were pursued, 
they killed in their own defense. As soon as the Indians re- 
turned into the Nation with their horses, those who encouraged 
the stealing of them became the purchasers; and shortly after- 
ward, knowing the quarter whence they were taken, carried 
them out of the Nation in a different direction, and sold them 
with great profit. The want of government, both in the Creeks 
and Cherokees, was such that all the chiefs in either nation could 
neither restrain nor punish the most worthless fellow in it for a 
violation of existing treaties, let the enormity of it be ever so 
great or evident; nor, if demanded by the United States, dare 
they deliver him up to be punished. The Indians were divided 
into clans or families, and it was a law among them that each clan 
should protect and take satisfaction for all injuries offered to the 


person of each individual of it, whatever had been his offense, 
except that of killing an Indian of another clan; and then if the 
injured clan or any of its members took satisfaction it was well, 
and the matter ended. The better to explain how this clannish 
law operated, the following facts may be resorted to: The brother 
of the chief called "The Bloody Fellow" had killed a white man. 
Cameron, the British Superintendent, demanded him, and upon 
his being delivered, had him put to death. In a short time aft- 
erward "The Bloody Fellow" put to death the Indian who deliv- 
ered or caused his brother to be delivered to Cameron. 

The massacres and depredations of the Indians were not 
chargeable, said Gov. Blount, to encroachments on their hunting- 

Theijr deputies, when they visited the President, made no com- 
plaint respecting the line as established by the treaty of the Hol- 
ston, except that they wished the ridge between the Tennessee 
and the Little River to be the line, in preference to a straight 
line from the place where the ridge struck the Holston. The set- 
tlers south of the ridge did not suffer by the Indians after the 
treaty of Holston, except Mr. Gillespy, who on the 12th of Sep- 
tember had been killed, arnd another made prisoner by the Creeks, 
who never claimed a foot of land on the north side of the Ten- 
nessee. The depredations before the declaration of war, and 
the attack after, were on the people of Mero District. The con- 
duct of the Creeks must have been occasioned by other motiv^es 
than those resulting from a claim of boundary. If the Cherokees 
ever had a claim, it was extinguished by two treaties— those of 
Hopewell and of the Holston — at the last of which a valuable 
consideration was paid in hand; and since that time the first an- 
nual payment has been made and principally received by the 
inhabitants of the five lower towns who have declared war against 
the United States. The claims of the Cherokees to the lands 
lying on the Cumberland was recent. Richard Henderson and 
company purchased from them their claim to these lands, as 
well as nearly all tliose included within the present limits of 
Kentucky; and they told Henderson positively that they did not 
sell him any right, for they had none; but only their claim. At 
the Conference with the Choctaws and Chickasaws at Nashville, 
in August, 1792, the latter claimed in strong terms all the lands 
north of the Tennessee, and below the Old Field, where a part of 

288 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

their nation formerly lived, and eastwardly as far as the head wa- 
ters of the Duck and Elk, and to the ridge that divides the Cum- 
berland and Duck. And James Carey, the interpreter, said that 
upon the return of the Cherokees, who were at that Conference 
and who had a literal copy of the minutes, they caused it to be 
I'ead and explained to the chiefs at Estanaula, and they con- 
fessed that the Chickasaw claim was just. The Chickasaws 
averred that they, and not the Cherokees, ceded to the United 
States the lands lying south of the ridge which divides the wa-. 
ters of the Cumberland and Duck Bivers — that is, the lands 
lying on the waters of the Cumberland Ki ver — and so they did by 
a treaty held at Nashville, in the year 1783, by Cols. Donalson 
and Martin, commissioners from the State of Virginia, two years 
prior to the treaty of Hopewell, by which the Cherokees ceded 
them. This treaty was probably never reported to Congress. 
If the Cherokees ever had any well-founded claims to the lands 
on the Cumberland, they did by two treaties cede them to the 
United States; and had been once paid for them by an individ- 
ual (Col. Henderson), by whom if he could not acquire title to 
his own use, the right of the Cherokees was nevertheless divested 
for the use of the public. The first settlers on the Cumberland 
River came thither under Henderson's purchase, by virtue of 
the Cherokee deeds made to him and his associates. 

The numerous depredations committed in this year, he 
thought, showed clearly that more Indians than the lower Cher- 
okee towns were engaged in them, and the necessity of building 
fortifications on the frontiers. He informed the Secretary of 
War that the Indians had failed to send their commissioners, in 
October, 1792, to run the boundary line agreed on by the treaty 
of Holston. The commissioners of the United States ran the 
line from the Clinch to the Chilhowee, which left out eight or 
nine plantations on Nine Mile Creek, unless made to strike near 
the mouth of the Clinch. These settlements were made before 
the treaty of Holston, which, however, he said, was now dissolved 
by the war which they had declared. He proposed to the Sec- 
retary to send Carey into the Creek Nation, in the disguise of a 
friend, to discover what they intended. It is not improper here 
to adduce a fact respecting the claims of the Cherokees, wdiich 
probably Gov. Blount had not acquii*ed the knowledge of at the 
time that he made this communication to the Secretary of War. 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 289 

Col. Croghan, in October, 1781, had resided among the Indians 
in the character of Deputy Superintendent, and seems to have 
possessed more general knowledge of the state of their claims 
and the history of their wars than any other who has been drawn 
into public observation. In this year (1781) it became impor- 
tant to ascertain the true boundaries of the Six Nations, and 
Col. Croghan was applied to as being the person best qualified 
to give the necessary information. He made a deposition, by 
which it appears that the Six Nations claimed all the land on 
the south-east side of the Ohio, down to the Cherokee River, 
which they ceded at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, held by commis- 
sioners on the part of his Britannic Majesty with them, in 1768. 
An incident which took place at the treaty affords concurring 
evidence of the sense entertained by the Cherokees of that claim, 
which the Six Nations were then about to surrender. Some vis- 
iting Cherokees to that treaty had on their road killed game for 
their support; and on their arrival at Fort Stanwix they imme- 
diately tendered the skins to the Indians of the Six Nations, 
saying: "They are yours; we killed them after we passed the 
Big Ptiver." The Cherokees have always designated the Ten- 
nessee by this name. The treaty of Fort Stanwix passed away 
from the Six Nations, the sole sovereigns of the soil, all their 
rights south-east of the Ohio and down to the Cherokee Biver, 
which they say in the treaty is their just right, and vested the 
soil and sovereignty in the British king. This title was relin- 
quished to the United States by the treaty of 1783, and indeed 
became vested in the respective States where it lay by the dec- 
laration of independence on the 4th of July, 1776; for that act, 
having been eventually supported, is a valid one, and was effect- 
ual from the day of its transaction. The claim of the Six Na- 
tions is founded, as their traditional history says, upon the con- 
quest of the country from the first possessors, or sovereigns of 
the soil. 

As if Gov. Blount was lying on a bed of roses^ and had more 
leisure on his hands than could be employed in recreation, the 
Governor of Virginia began to make him uneasy. Gov. Blount 
had directed the officers of the Territory to exercise jurisdiction 
as far as Henderson's line. The Governor of Virginia issued a 
proclamation in opposition to the fact which the instructions 
maintained. The act of Virginia for extending her jurisdiction, 

290 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

meaning no doubt the act of the 7th of December, 1791, was 
founded, as Gov. Blount alleged, on a resolution of the Assem- • 
bly of North Carolina, passed long after the acceptance of the 
cession by Congress, and many months after the organization of 
the territorial government; and could only havemeant to estab- 
lish Walker's line as far west as the claim of North Carolina ex- 
tended at the time of passing the resolution. For the informa- 
tion of the people, and in support of the arguments he urged, 
Gov. Blount procured and published a copy of these proceed- 
ings of the North Carolina Legislature. His opponents were 
not convinced, and this dispute remained one cause of the many 
cares which kept his mind disturbed during the whole time of his 
gubernatorial office. 

On the 22d of November, 1792, Gov. Blount wrote to Gov. Lee, 
of Virginia, on the subject on the jarisdictional line. He stated 
that there could be no doubt but that the act of Virginia and 
the resolution of North Carolina had fixed the boundary line 
between those two States; but that North Carolina, after the ac- 
ceptance of the cession act by Congress, had no power to fix the 
line between Tennessee and Virginia, and that the resolution 
was several months after that period. North Carolina, he al- 
leged, had exercised jurisdiction without any objection on the 
part of Virginia to the date of the cession act, and the Federal 
Government since^ — a space of ten years. He considered it his 
duty to extend'the territorial jurisdiction to that line, the law of 
Virginia and the proclamation of his Excellency notwithstand- 
ing, and should continue to exercise it until he should receive 
instructions from the Federal Government. 

It may not be improper to remark that the resolution of North 
Carolina was made at the same cession in which was passed the 
act for ceding the Territory to Congress, which session com- 
menced on the 2d of November, 1792, and ended on the 22d 
of December, 1792. At that time, and long afterward in North 
Carolina, and until an alteration was made by an act of the 
Legislature, all the acts of the Legislature related, as in En- 
gland, to the first day of the session; and consequently the first 
resolution preceded the deed made to Congress on the 20th of 
February, 1790. Both of these resolutions intended the com- 
pletion of their object by a statute to be passed by the Legisla- 
ture. Whether either of them could be legally considered as 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 291 

an agreement obligatory upon North Carolina, when afterward 
accorded to by Virginia, is a point to be discussed in the first 
place before it can be assented to. The objection is not so prop- 
erly for want of power in the Legislature at the date of the first 
resolution, as it is for want of the statute which the resolution 
of 1789 recommended. The State of Virginia soon after, when 
she agreed to a divisional line half-way between Walker's and 
Henderson's line, undoubtedly considered that the North Car- 
olina resolution was incompetent to the purpose. 

Gen. Sevier endeavored with the greatest anxiety, while sta- 
tioned at South-west Point, to obviate all just grounds of com- 
plaint on the part of the friendly Indians. Hearing by a report 
circulated in camp that a party from it had surprised an Indian 
camp, killed a fellow and wounded another, and one squaw Indian 
who was with them, either on the 11th of November or on the 
morning of the 12th ; and hearing by the same report that ensign 
Inman had the command of the party which committed the out- 
rage, he ordered Col. Carter to make strict inquiry into the cir- 
cumstances, and to report them all to him. When about to leave 
the camp for a short time, on the 18th of November, one part of 
the orders left with Col. Christian was not to suffer any party in 
his absence to carry on expeditions against the Indian towns, nor 
to cross the Tennessee, except a single person or two to reconnoi- 
ter the country and to make discovery whether or not any party 
of the enemy was lurking in the neighborhood. He was to send 
parties of horse at different times to reconnoiter the woods as low 
down as the Crab Orchard, and on the Cumberland line; and as 
high up as the Papaw town, on the north side of the Clinch 
River; and to repel and defeat, if in their power, any hostile par- 
ties that might appear on the north side of the Tennessee River; 
and the works which were incomplete were to be carried on with 
indefatigable assiduity. 

The Southern Indians exulted at the misfortunes of the 
Northern army, and the Spaniards were blamed for their un- 
friendly disposition toward the United States. The general 
commended Col. Watts for his returning desire for peace, 
thanked him for the attention paid to his prisoner, Capt. Hen- 
ley, and wished that he might be restored to his connections 
and countrymen. In his address to the Secretary of War .he 
undisguisedly declared himself an advocate for war against the 

292 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

hostile part of the Creeks and Cherokees, and employed some 
strong arguments to convince the Secretary of the correct- 
ness of his own opinion. We shall soon see the little effect 
which these arguments produced, and the fatal consequences of 
disregarding them. He proved from late events opposed to 
the communication of Mr. Seagrove that five hundred Creeks 
and a large body of Cherokees were actually embodied for the 
purpose of invasion when Mr. Seagrove assured the government 
of the pacific dispositions of these nations. 

On the 27th of November, 1792, the Indians were in such 
force as to raise the expectation that they would shortly make 
an attack on Gen. Sevier's army; but on the 29th the Governor 
was compelled, by the orders of his superiors, to give it in com- 
mand to the general to march all the troops of his brigade, ex- 
cept two companies, to Knoxville. 

The discharge of the troops from service which were under 
the command of Gen. Sevier took place about the 8th of Janu- 
ary, 1793, and we shall soon see the unexpected consequences of 
that step. In the first week in January, 1793, twenty horses 
were carried ofp from the Rolling Fork of Salt River by the 

On the lOtli of January, 1793, a party of Indians stole thirty 
horses from a settlement on Russell's Creek, in Kentucky. They 
were pursued by the inhabitants, who overtook them on the 
south side of the Cumberland River, and killed one Indian and 
regained the horses. When the pursuers, in returning, were 
recrossing the Cumberland River, the last raft was fired on and 
two men were wounded by a number of Indians who had em- 
bodied and pursued them. The Indians followed them to the 
settlements, and after the inhabitants retired to their homes 
again stole twenty of the same horses. 

On the 12th of January, 1793, Capt. Henley returned from 
captivity. The party which defeated and captured him consist- 
ed of sixty Creeks. They held a council whether to put him to 
death or not, and, having determined to save him, they after- 
ward treated him kindly. 

A negro woman and three children were carried into the 
lower towns of the Cherokees early in January, 1792. The 
wench said she was from Kentucky, and that she belonged to 
Gen. Logan. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 293 

On Tuesday, the 22d of January, 1793, Jolm Pates was killed 
by the Indians on Crooked Creek, about sixteen miles from 
Knoxville, and four scalps were taken from him. 

On the 29th of January, 1793, three horses were stolen from 
William Davidson, at Gamble's Station, on Little Biver, by the 

On the 26th of February the Indians stole ten horses from 
Cosby's Creek, in Jefferson County, the property of William 
McKossach and Peter Every. 

On the 6th of March, 1793, on the road near the Hazel Patch, 
several men and a woman and a child were fired upon by a 
party of Indians, supposed to be Cherokees. The child was 
taken prisoner, and two men were wounded, who got back to the 

On Saturday, the 9th of March, James Nelson and Thomas 
Nelson, two brothers, were killed and scalped by Indians on the 
Little Pigeon, about twenty-five miles from Knoxville. The 
Indians had formed an ambuscade on a path near Mr. Nelson's 
house. These young men were stricken by eight balls, from 
which it was conjectured there was that number of Indians. 
They were headed by a fellow called Towakka, who also headed 
the party that formerly killed Richardson. 

On the 16th of March, 1793, fourteen head of horses were 
stolen from the settlement on Flat Creek, sixteen miles from 

On the 21st of March Thomas Ross, post-rider, and two other 
men, on their way from Hawkins Court-house, in the Territory, 
to Kentucky, were fired on near Laurel River by a party of In- 
dians and a white man. Ross was killed. The other two men 
were wounded, but made their escape. 

On Saturday, the 26th of March, 1793, nine men and ten 
women and children were attacked near the Hazel Patch by a 
party of Indians, consisting of about eighteen, and a white man, 
who appeared to be the leader. On sight of the Indians the 
travelers dismounted, and an action ensued which lasted near 
half an hour, when both parties retreated, each regarding the 
other as conquerors. Only four men of the company reached 
Kentucky, three of whom were wounded. On Thursday follow- 
ing Gen. Logan, with seventy men, went in search of the rest of 
the company. On the ground where the engagement had taken 

294 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

place they found a little girl who had been taken prisoner a few 
weeks before, and who, during the engagement, made her escape 
and hid herself. They also found a child of one of the company 
some distance from the place of action, nearly exhausted, but 
who finally recovered. They were led to this discovei'y by the 
barking of a dog, which had remained with the child from the 
time its parents had forsaken it. The Indians had several 
wounded, and their leader, the white man, killed, whom they 
carried some distance and buried. Mr. McFarland, one of the 
company, wounded several of the Indians and killed their lead- 
er, and was the last person who left the ground. He escaped 
unhurt, having his charger shot from his belt. 

On Monday, the 18th of March, 1793, two young men by the 
name of Clements were killed and scalped about sixteen miles 
below Knoxville. 

On Wednesday, the 20th of March, 1793, on the Pigeon, in 
Jefferson County, a man by the name of Taylor was fired on by 
the Indians, who had formed an ambuscade on the path he trav- 
eled near a station. The number of guns fired induced the be- 
lief that the party of Indians was numerous. 

On Sunday, the 20th of March, a party of seven or eight In- 
dians killed and scalped William Massey and Adam Greene, at 
the gap of Powell's Mountain, on the Clinch, about twenty miles 
from Hawkins Court-house. 

On Monday, the 8th of April, 1793, a party of Creeks, headed 
by young Lashley, the person who had lately committed so many 
acts of rapine and slaughter on the frontier inhabitants of Ham- 
ilton District, burned a house belonging to James Gallaher, on 
the south side of the Holston, twenty miles from Knoxville. Re- 
turning from the frontier, they called on "The Hanging Maw," 
and asked for provisions, which he refused them, upon which 
they shot his dog and went off. A detachment of mounted in- 
fantry followed them over the Tennessee, without being able to 
overtake them. The waters having risen suddenly, the company 
were obliged to swim their horses in recrossing the Tennessee, 
in attempting which a young man, John McCullough, was 

On Thursday, the 11th of April, the house of Mr. Blackburn, 
on the north side of the Holston, fourteen miles from Knoxville, 
was burned by Indians, generally supposed to be Creeks. 


On the 15th of April a party of Lieut. Tedford's Kaugers, on 
the south side of the Holston, in the dusk of the evening, dili- 
gently in pursuit of some Creeks who were on the frontiers un- 
der the command of Lashley, fell in with two Indians on horse- 
back, on whom they fired and killed one, who proved to be "The 
Noon Day," a Cherokee of Toquo. 

The Creeks had broken out into open hostilities, when the 
Cherokees offered to be at peace. About the 1st of April, some 
Indians, whom the white people were ready to suppose to be 
Creeks, killed a man near Tugulo, and stole about thirty horses 
near the residence of Col. Cleveland. The white people there 
resolved to pursue and kill them, and to retake the horses. They 
came up with the Indians near Chota, in the Cherokee Terri- 
tory. The whites found where they had killed a horse, and a bell 
which was known. They fired upon and killed two of these In- 
dians, and wounded one. The Cherokees were informed of this 
by the white people, by a communication which implied friend- 
ship for them and disgust at the conduct of the Creeks, who by 
returning through their country had endeavored to fix on the 
Cherokees the imputation that they were the perpetrators of 
those enormities. 

The white people established stations at the Oconee Mountains 
and other places on the frontiers, leaving open only one path by 
which the Cherokees were to come to the white settlements, 
which was the old trading-path by the Oconee Mountain. The 
Cherokees were desired not to go to the Spaniards for goods, as 
the people of Georgia had more goods than the Spaniards, and 
could sui3j)ly them on better terms; and it was said that they 
would have furnished the Creeks with ammunition, had they ap- 
plied to the people of Georgia, and not to the Spaniards, whose 
interference in these matters seemed to be particularly dis- 

Daily accounts received at this period iinputed to the Span- 
iards unremitted exertions to induce the Creeks and Cherokees 
to continue to make war upon the United States, and the people 
had for some time complained that they were not protected and 
held out the idea that they ought to protect themselves. They 
had appointed a place of meeting, where it was proposed they 
should pass into the Cherokee Nation and destroy the toM'ns. 
They began to assemble accordingly at Gamble's Station, and 

296 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

had been with great difficalty made to disperse by the Govern- 
or's proclamation, which he sent to them by Col. White, and by 
his ordering out the militia to suppress them, in case of perse- 
verance in their designs after the proclamation should have 
been made known to them. 

The Governor did not hear from Cumberland as soon as he 
expected, his messenger having been detained by high waters, 
which in the month of March, 1793, were nine feet higher than 
they had ever been known to be before. He received intelligence 
that between the 29th of March and 5th of April, 1793, six hun- 
dred and twelve Creeks had passed the Tennessee in several 
parties, for war against the United States, but principally 
against the Cumberland settlements, and that the whole nation 
of Creeks were bent on war. He was informed that Gen. Logan, 
of Kentucky, was preparing an expedition against the Cherokees 
at the very time when the Governor and those Indians were 
concerting measures for peace; and when to that end under the 
insti'uctions of the President, he was inviting a full representa- 
tion of the chiefs to visit the President in Philadelphia, on the 
17th of April. He was informed, also, that the Indians had 
killed several of the citizens of the Territory. Such a combina- 
tion of perplexing circumstances required great fortitude and 
an uncommon degree of resignation to the dispensations of 
adversity. He calmly provided for every exigence. He ordered 
a company of rangers to be embodied to scour the woods in ad- 
vance of the frontier settlements of Cumberland; authorized 
Gen. Ptobertson to raise another, if necessary, for the same pur- 
pose, and promised him from one hundred and sixty to five hun- 
dred men, to aid him in defense of the Cumberland settlements. 
He ordered Maj. Beard to march without delay with the troops 
under his command, by the way of West Point and the upper 
waters of the Caney Fork, to the paths which the Creeks gener- 
ally passed to war against the District of Mero, and to the woods 
in which they generally formed their camps, and from which 
they annoyed the inhabitants of Cumberland in small parties. 
On his arrival at any such paths in the woods, he was instruct- 
ed to consider all the Indians he should see there as enemies, 
and in all the woods upon the Cumberland waters, and as low 
down as the mouth of the Red Eiver. But should he come upon 
Chickasaws, Choctaws, or Cherokees, and know them as such. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 297 

he was to consider them as friends, unless they gave proof to 
the contrary; in that event, he was to treat them as enemies. 
He was not to go to the westward of Nashville, unless ordered 
by Gen. Robertson, nor was he to go to the south of the Cum- 
berland waters, unless in pursuit of a flying enemy. In that 
case, if he judged it prudent, he might pursue them as far as 
the Tennessee. 

About the 20th of April, 1793, Gov. Blount received undoubt- 
ed information that upward of six hundred Creeks a short time 
before that had crossed through the lower towns for war against 
the United States. The Cherokee chiefs, however, pretended 
an earnest wish for peace, and John Watts on his late visit to 
Gov. Blount gave the most explicit assurances on that head. 
Douglass, the Scotchman, who was sent as a spy to Peusacola, 
was mistaken, in the Chickasaw Nation, for a horse thief who 
had been there some time before, and was killed by them under 
that mistake, on his return to Gov. Blount. 

On the 18th of April, 1793, on the east fork of the Little Pig- 
eon in Jefferson County, thirty miles from Knoxville, Joshua 
Tipton was killed by the Indians, and also a man of the name 
of Matthews, and another of the name of Shields was wounded. 

A station was attacked in Kentucky by the Indians, in the 
month of April, 1793, who killed three of the inhabitants and 
made eighteen prisoners, whom they carried into the woods and 

On Monday, the 13th, which was shortly afterward, they at- 
tacked another station, and they had set fire to the houses at 
Bock Castle and consumed them. 

Gov. Blount at this time, by presents, by friendly letters, by 
special messengers exhorting to peace and friendship, and by 
every persuasive topic which could be resorted to, endeavored 
to retain the Cherokees in a state of peace, and to induce a full 
representation of them to go with him to Philadelphia on a visit 
to the President, where all matters of controversy might be ad- 
justed and all uneasiness removed. But he could only prevail 
so far as to obtain a promise that the proposal should be laid 
before the great council of the nation, who would report their 
answer. But they artfully kept up the belief that the proposal 
would be embraced till he left the Territory on the 7th of June, 

298 Haywood's history of tentstessee. 

On the 28tli of March, 1793, the obviate the designs expected 
from the great number of Creeks who had lately passed the 
lower towns to fall on the frontiers of Cumberland, he had di- 
rected a full company of mounted infantry to be ordered into 
actual service from the militia of Mero District, to consist of 
eighty men, exclusive of officers, to waylay the Indian paths 
leading to the settlements, and to explore the woods where 
their principal camps might probably be found, within the lim- 
its of fifty miles from the settlements; and to treat as enemies 
such Indians as they might find within those limits, excepting 
women and children, and to go well armed, each man with a 
good firelock, and such other arms as he should think proper. 
They were to be discharged on the 14th of May, unless the dan- 
ger should continue; in which case Gen. Robertson was at lib- 
erty to keep them for two months, or discharge them and 
order out another; and these companies were authorized to fol- 
low" incursive parties to the Tennessee, The Spaniards began 
to advise the Indians against war with the United States, and 
Gov. Gayoso wrote in very friendly terms to Gov. Blount, 
disavowing any share or part in inciting the Indians to war. 
Panton was a refugee tory, and it was considered by the Gov- 
ernor as a ground of complaint that he should be entertained 
by the Spaniards, with the mischievous inclinations toward the 
United States wdiich he was known to possess. Small parties 
of Creeks now passed and repassed through the lower towns 
every day. They carried with them the scalps of the people 
killed on the Cumberland; and small parties of Cherokees were 
equally engaged in the same practices. 

About the 2d of May, 1793, three white men who could never 
be discovered came to and fired upon three Indians — two Chick- 
asaws and one Cherokee — who were on a visit to Gov. Blount, 
and had gone to see their horses in the woods, six hundred 
yards from his house. They wounded one of the Chickasaws of 
the name of Morris, who died in a few hours. The Cherokee 
was supposed to be the object, but he escaped. Morris was hon- 
ored with a pompous funeral, by way of soothing the anguish of 
the Chickasaws. 

The people had so long suffered the unceasing cruelties of the 
Indians that they were now almost ready to throw off the re- 
straints which government imposed upon them, and at all haz- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 299 

ards to provide for their own security. The supineness of the 
government was universally clamored against, and the confi- 
dence of the people in its measures was visibly abating. It was 
bitterly complained of that six hundred Creeks should be on 
their march to attack the people of the Cumberland, and that 
no force should be ordered to oppose them; that the citizens 
should suffer innumerable injuries from the savages, and that 
no plan should be formed for their relief. Gen. Sevier informed 
the Governor, though he was sorry to do so, that the warm 
friends of the then present government were getting tired of it; 
that clamors against it were loud in all parts of the district; that 
the dissatisfaction of the people was extreme; and that those 
who by arguments attempted to defend the measures of the gov- 
ernment were treated with rudeness. As soon as it was known 
that Gillam and his son were killed, Capt. Beard was ordered to 
pursue with fifty mounted infantry, and to scour the Cumber- 
land Mountains. The people were now in the daily habit of 
saying that their rulers were not to be relied on for protection, 
and that their sufferings were not to end but in their death or 
removal from the country. 

On Saturday, the 1st of June, 1793, a party of ten Indians at- 
tacked Holmack's Station, on Bull Run, near where Thomas and 
James Gillam were killed; but relief- was given by a party of 
Capt. Beard's mounted infantry. 

On the 6th of June a party of Indians came to the plantation 
of Mr. Woods, and stole six horses. Capt. Cox raised a party 
of men, and pursued them. 

A few days after Gov. Blount's departure for Philadelphia, 
which was on the 7th of June, 1793, Capt. Beard's men, whom 
he collected to follow the Indians who killed Gillam and his son, 
to the number of fifty-six, came with him, on the morning of the 
12th of June, about the break of day, and made an attack on 
"The Hanging Maw's " family and other Indians who were in- 
vited there by the orders of government. Maj. King and Dan- 
iel Carmichael, frequently employed in the service of the United 
States to transact business with the Indians, were there. Beard's 
party killed Scantee, Fool Charly (one of the chiefs of High- 
tower), Betty (the daughter of Kittakiska), and several others, 
among them a white man named William Rosberry. "The 
Hanging Maw" and his wife v/ere both wounded; and Betty, 


the daughter of Nancy Ward. King and Carmichael escaped, 
with the risk of their lives, through the fire of these infuriated 
white men. At the particular entreaty of King and Carmichael, 
they spared the rest of " The Hanging Maw's " family, and ab- 
stained from burning his house. Gov. Blount had ordered 
Beard not to cross the Tennessee, and to confine his pursuit to 
that party of Indians who had lately killed Gillam and his son, 
or to a horse stealing party in the same neighborhood. A court- 
martial was called to try Beard for his malconduct and breach 
of orders; but, as might easily have been foreseen from the 
state of public feeling and sentiment, he was without difficulty 
acquitted of the charges brought against him. Secretary Smith 
desired the Indians not to take satisfaction, but to wait for the 
redress which the President would offer. From that moment 
he deemed a general war of the whole Cherokee Nation inevita- 
ble, and on the 12tli of June he gave orders to Gen. Sevier to 
hold one-third of his men in readiness. 

On the 5th of June, Gov. Blount, before his dej^arture for 
Philadelphia, gave orders to hold a part of the militia in readi- 
ness. This order was now, on the 12th of June, repeated and 
pressed by the Secretary, who acted as Governor during his ab- 
sence. Orders were immediately issued to the colonels of coun- 
ties to hold one-third of • their troops in readiness to march; 
drafts were made; the men who were to perform the service 
were designated, as also were the officers to command them; and 
all were pressed to march at a moment's warning. 

On the 17th of June the troops were ordered to march to 
Knoxville with a third part of the militia, a powerful invasion 
of Creeks and Cherokees being expected at that place. 

On the 13th of June the Indians stole horses on the Little 
Biver. Their trail led to the Chilhowee. They stole two more 
from the same place, leaving a neat bow and arrow a quarter of 
a mile from the station. Some of the wdiite men pursued until 
they could see the town of Chilhowee from the point of a mount- 
ain on the north side of the Tennessee, which they could not 
. cross, as it was contrary to the orders of government, but they 
lay and viewed it. 

Eight men who went from Powell's Yalley prior to the 15th 
of June, on the scout of Indians beyond the Cumberland Mount- 
ain, discovered a large camp of them, around which they lay all 

Haywood's history of Tennessee, 301 

niglit. The Indians had discovered the appearance o£ the white 
men unknown to the latter, and on the morning an action ensued. 
The white men, being too weak, were obliged to retreat, having 
two men killed and a third wounded. They knew not the dam- 
age of the Indians. 

In June many Creeks repassed the Tennessee at the lowef 
Cherokee towns, on their way home from Kentucky and Cum- 
berland, with many scalps and valuable horses. 

On the 19th of June a large party of Indians came to Doher- 
ty's Mill, in Weir's Cove, on the Little Pigeon, cut down a quar- 
ter of an acre of corn, killed one horse, stole ten others, and 
broke to pieces siTch parts of the mill as they could easily break. 
Lieut. Henderson began to pursue them on the 21st. The re- 
peated acts of hostility committed on the frontiers had driven 
the people almost to madness, and they seemed about this time 
as if they had lost all command of themselves and all respect 
for the government. Henderson overtook the Indians he was in 
pursuit of from Weir's Cove, and gave them a well-directed and 
unexpected fire, and killed two and wounded others. The In- 
dians ran off a little distance, leaving the horses tied, but on see- 
ing there were so few of the whites, made a stand. The whites 
cut loose the horses and rode off with them, all except one, which 
was shot down by the enemy. Nine of the white men were 

About the same time Samuel Weir raised a party of volun- 
teers. Lieut. Henderson joined them, and thoughtlessly suffered 
Mr. Weir to take the command of the party, about sixty in num- 
ber. They pursued the main body of the Indians to the town 
of Talassee, on the north bank of the Tennessee, where they 
killed fifteen men and one woman, and brought in four women 

On the 19th and 21st of June the Indians stole horses from 
Gamble's Station, Craig's Station, and Bird's Station. 

On the 29th of June a small party of Indians came to one 
Loyd's house, more than sixty miles above Knoxville and about 
eleven miles from Greene Court-house, on the south side of the 
Nolichucky River. They killed his wife and two children, 
wounded a third badly, and plundered the house of every thing 
valuable. Col. McNabb immediately pursued them with ninety 
men, and followed their trail to a small Indian village, sup- 

302 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

posed to be on the Tuckasejali Kiver. They killed two Indians 
— one a woman; fell out among themselves, and returned home. 

On the 30th of June, after sunset, as four of Lieut. Tedfoi-d's 
party of horse were returning from reconnoitering the woods in 
search of Indians, they were fired upon near Well's Station by 
a party of ten Indians. They wounded John McAllister with a 
ball through the flesh of the back, and James Gillespy through 
the foot. The wounds were not dangerous. They also shot 
down Gillespy 's horse, which died in a few moments; and they 
made their escape under cover of the night. 

On Monday, the 1st of July, the Indians burned two houses 
on the plantation of Mr. Hogan, on Baker's Creek, twenty- 
four miles from Knoxville, in which all his household furni- 
ture and a quantity of flax were consumed. On the same 
night they destroyed a quantity of corn belonging to a Mr. 

On the 2d of July the Indians fired upon a man on Pistol 
Creek, and burned the house of a Mr. Hogan, on Nine Mile 
Creek, with his crop of flax and part of his crop of corn. 

Shortly afterward they stole seven horses from Bird's Station, 
twelve miles below Knoxville, and the clothes of four families 
which were in the wash. 

On the night of the 2d of July, at Kelly's Station, eleven 
miles from Knoxville, the Indians cut up a plow belonging to 
Mr. Conner, and carried off the irons. 

On Wednesday, the 3d of July, Ensign Joel Wallace was fired 
upon by six Indians, at the head of Pistol Creek, fifteen miles 
from Knoxville. One ball struck a large knife that was fastened 
to the belt of his shot-bag, and shattered the handle to pieces, 
some of which cut his breast. He escaped without receiving 
any further injury. 

On Tuesday, the 9th of July, three horses were stolen from 
Capt. Manifee's station, eight miles from Knoxville, by the In- 

On the 12th of July, hearing of a large body of men in the 
upper counties, who were making ready to rendezvous at Knox- 
ville on the 1st of August, for the purpose of going against the 
lower towns of the Cherokees, the Secretary apprised the general 
of this information, whom he advised to consider these men as 
making ready under the general's orders, founded on those of 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 303 

the Governor of the 12th of June; and at the same time address- 
ing himself to these volunteers, if that be a proper name for 
them, he applauded the alacrity with which they had got ready 
to march against the hostile Indians; and, as it was probable 
that in the course of three weeks they would be called upon to 
meet together at Knoxville, he hoped their ardor would not cool 
nor that spirit abate which is so necessary to enable them to 
render protection to the country whenever the government shall 
require them. 

On the 16th of July a large party of men had agreed to as- 
semble at Campbell's Station, fifteen miles below Knoxville, for 
the purpose of going thence into the Cherokee Nation and do- 
ing them all the harm they could. The Secretary went thither, 
and found that they were assembled at Blackburn's, in the 
neighborhood; and he persuaded such of them as he saw, with 
great earnestness, not to proceed, but could make no impression 
on them. He wrote orders to Beard to desist, but equally in 
vain. On the 17th of July they moved off for South-west Point, 
consisting of one hundred and thirty or one hundred and forty 
men. Another party had determined to set off on the 1st of 
August, and no orders of government could restrain them. They 
had long demanded and threatened, and were now actually pro- 
ceeding to take the defense of themselves into their own hands. 
Gen. Sevier desired to head a party of one hundred or a hun- 
dred and fifty mounted infantry, to explore the country on the 
north side of the Tennessee as low down as the lower Cher@kee 
towns. The Secretary agreed to that proposition, and the men 
were called into service. Beard's party returned on the 17th of 
July, having killed eight or ten Indians. The Indians fired on 
them from some strong houses on the Hiwassee, killed one man, 
and wounded another; the rest came off in confusion. Beard, 
with his company, was soon afterward sent to the defense of 
Mero District. The company consisted of one hundred and 
forty men, and were ordered to scour the woods to the south for 
fifty miles from the Cumberland settlements. Col. Doherty was 
positively ordered to desist from marching against the Indians. 
He did not obey the orders, but marched into the Indian coun- 
try with one hundred and eighty or one hundred and ninety 
men. He returned on the 13th of August. They killed ten In- 
dian men, nine of whom they scalped; two squaws, who were 

304 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

mistaken for men; and took sixteen women and cliildi'en prison- 
ers, nine of whom they dismissed, and brought home the others. 
Before this campaign of Doherty's the Indians had stolen many 
horses along the frontier, and had fired upon Lieut. Tedford's 
men, as before stated. Whilst he was out horse stealing went 
on as usual, and they killed one Cimniugham and Black on the 
southern frontier, and to the eastward on Muddy Creek, above 
the Little Pigeon ; and one Walker, on the Little Pigeon. When 
Cunningham was killed, three men who were within hearing of 
the guns hastened to the place, near which they met two Indians, 
one of whom they killed. He belonged to the town of Chilho- 
wee, and was known to several persons by the name of "Chilho- 
wee Jim." 

On Sunday, the 11th of August, the Indians fired upon a 
Mr. Black and another man belonging to Lieut. Tedford's 
men as they were returning fi'om a corn-field at Wells's Sta- 

On the 20th of August, at night, the Indians burned James 
Tedford's house, all his flax, and some other property; cut down 
about an acre of Capt. Joseph Tedford's corn, killed some hogs, 
and threw down the fences. The tracks which they made indi- 
cated a large party. It was believed that they were then em- 
bodying, and would shortly fall upon the settlements. The peo- 
ple called earnestly on Gen. Sevier to come to their protection. 
The principal men in Jefi'erson County, alarmed at the impend- 
ing storm, and sensible that it would shortly burst upon some 
part of the frontiers, presented their sentiments in a memorial 
to the general, and wished him to use the most efficient meas- 
ures for their defense. 

After the return of Doherty, and before the 22d of August, 
the Indians killed Abraham Wells near his house, and burned 
three dwelling-houses which had been deserted. The Indians 
taken by Doherty all agreed that, except a small party of Chero- 
kees who had gone to Swannanoe, all the rest of the nation were 
assembling at Estanaula, where John Watts was, in order to 
proceed to war against the Territory. Universally, throughout 
the whole Territory, a powerful invasion of the Cherokees was 
every day expected. It was supposed that they would aim at 
Knoxville, because of the goods and ammunition deposited 
there. The people everywhere asked, " Is not the country to be 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 305 

defended?" Gen. Sevier was advised to call out one-third of 
the militia of the three upper counties and a troop of horse. 
They were accordingly ordered out, but they could not be ex- 
pected at Knoxville before the 1st of September. All personal 
communications with the Indians were now at an end; the let- 
ters addressed to them were fastened to posts on the banks of the 

At the appearance of daylight, on the 29th of August, a nu- 
merous party of Indians made an attack on Henry's Station. 
They were estimated at one hundred, and thence to three hun- 
dred. Lieut. Tedford and another man had gone to a corn-field 
when the firing commenced, and then they attempted to run to 
the station, but got amongst the Indians unexpectedly. The lieu- 
tenant was taken prisoner, carried about one hundred and fifty 
yards, and put to death. The other man (Jackson) fortunately 
made his escape, ran to Craig's Station, and spread the alarm to 
all the adjacent frontiers. A man of the name of Henderson they 
also killed. Gen. Sevier was invited down to take command of 
the few militia at Knoxville. At all events, he was expected 
down with one-third of the militia from the three upper coun- 
ties, in a few days from the 1st of August. G<en. Sevier wrote 
to the Cherokees; reproached them for their restless temper and 
thirst for human blood; stated to them the advantages of peace, 
and the danger the whole nation would incur by going to war 
with the whites; the unwillingness of the President that they 
should be made to suffer any injustice, and recommended to 
them to look to the general government particularly for the re- 
dress of injuries. Such like speeches were made upon every 
disturbance between the whites and the Indians, but their ineffi- 
ciency and perfect inutility were demonstrated by the fact that 
in no single instance had any good resulted from them. The 
troops were ordered to hold themselves in readiness, and the 
general wished to fall upon some means of delaying the in- 
tended blow till some better preparations could be made to re- 
ceive it. 

The unfortunate Indians were precisely in the situation which 
admitted of no remedy that could save them from destruction. 
Every individual, for want of a superior to restrain him, could 
by his misdeeds draw the injured white people upon the whole 
nation ; continually the whole suffered from the misdoings of a 

306 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

few. The constant ojDeration of this evil cannot fail to bring on, 
eventually, the extinction of the whole nation. At this time 
there were many men in Tennessee who, seeing the pernicious 
consequences of such liberty in the Cherokees, could not yet see 
that a similar behavior in the white people would unavoidably 
plunge them into the same difficulties. But let it be remembered 
that such a principle, admitted in the smallest degree, is of it- 
self sufficient to overturn any government in the world. It was 
now in contemplation to establish a station or fort at or toward 
the mouth of the Tellico, and thence to send out rangers every 
day to Chilhowee and Talassee — a measure well calculated to re- 
press the advances of the Indians into the settlements on the 
south side of the Holston. 

On Friday, the 30th of August, two Indians went to the house 
of Sebastian Holly, on the south side of the Nolichucky, in 
Washington County, fifteen miles from Jonesborough, wouuded 
and scalped his vrife, and killed his daughter, thirteen years 
old, cut off her head, carried it some distance, and skinned it. 

On the 3d of September a party of about fifteen Indians at- 
tacked the house of Zephaniah "NVoolsey, on the south side of 
Nolichucky River, ten miles from Greene Court-house, shot his 
wife through the head, and wounded a young woman through 
the thigh. They caught a small girl in the yard, and scalped 
her. Mr. Woolsey, though shot through the breast and head, 
recovered. The Indians again stole horses from Gamble's Sta- 

The Cherokees made the expected incursion into Hamilton 
District on Wednesday the 25th of September, in a body con- 
sisting of at least one thousand men. In many places they 
marched twenty-eight files abreast, each supposed to consist of 
forty men. They had also about one hundred horses. They 
crossed the Tennessee below the mouth of Holston on Tuesday 
evening, marched all night toward Knoxville, and about sun- 
rise or a little after, attacked and carried the house of Alexan- 
der Cavit, seven miles below Knoxville, and killed his whole 
family, thirteen in number. They treated the poor women and 
children with the utmost indelicacy. When the Indians attacked 
the house, there were only three gunmen in it, who defended it 
till they had killed one Creek and one Cherokee, and wounded 
three more. The Indians then offered terms if they would sur- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 307 

render — that their lives should be spared, and that they should 
be immediately exchanged for the Indian prisoners amongst the 
whites — which were accepted. But as soon as they left the 
house Doublehead and his party fell upon them and put them 
to death, with the incidents before alluded to, except one son 
saved by John Watts. The terms were offered on the part of 
the Indians by Bob Benge, a half-breed who' spoke English and 
who exerted himself to save the unhappy victims from the mur- 
derous hands of Doublehead and his party. There were seven 
hundred Creeks and two hundred Cherokees who invested the 
fort. Gen. Sevier lay at this time on the lower frontier, on the 
south bank of Holston, about eight miles from the Tennessee, at 
one Ish's, with about four hundred men. He had arrived there 
but a few days before. His forces were ordered to be augment- 
ed, that he might pursue and chastise the enemy, who crossed 
the Clinch the same night. He received orders to this effect. 
Lieut. McClelland was in their rear to reconnoiter their move- 
ments. Gen. Sevier marched into the Cherokee Nation in pur- 
suit of the late invaders. The spirit of the people would no 
longer bear inaction. He collected an army of eleven hundred 
and twenty-three privates, with a proportional number of field 
and other officers, in all two hundred and sixty-five, and at the 
head of these he marched. For the safety of the army he 
crossed at one of the upper fords on Tennessee below the mount- 
ains. He there bent his course for Hiwassee, with an intention 
of striking the trail of the retreating army of Indians, which on 
the 25th of September had killed Cavit's family. Before reach- 
ing Hiwassee he discovered four large trails making directly 
into the mountains. The army then crossed the Hiwassee and 
directed its course for Estanaula, on the Coosa Biver, where it 
arrived on the 24th of October, having discovered on the way 
several other trails leading to the aforesaid place. They there 
made some Cherokees prisoners, who gave information that 
John Watts was the person who headed the army which took 
Cavit's Station, and that it was composed of Cherokees from 
every town in the Nation; that from the Turkey's Town, Sul- 
lyquoah, Coosawatee, and several other principal towns almost 
every man was out; that they were joined by a large number of 
the Upper Creeks who had passed Estanaula on their return 
only a few days before the arrival of Gen. Sevier's army, and 


made for a town at the mouth of Hightower River. The army, 
after refreshing itself, set out for that place, taking the path 
that leads to it along which the Creeks had marched in four 
large trails. 

On the 17th of October, in the afternoon, the army arrived at 
the fork of Coosa and Hightower Rivers. Col. Kelly was di- 
rected, with part of the Knox regiment, to make an attempt to 
cross the river. The Creeks and a number of Cherokees had 
fortified themselves to obstruct the passage. Col. Kelly and his 
party went down the river half a mile below the ford and began 
to cross at a private place v/here there was no ford. Himself 
and a few others swam the river. Discovering this movement, 
the enemy immediately left their intrenchments and began to 
run down the river to oppose the passage, expecting that the 
wdiole army intended crossing at the lower point. Observing 
this oversight of the enemy, Capt. Evans immediately set oif 
with his corps of mounted infantry in full speed up the river to 
the ford and began to cross. Very few had reached the south 
bank before the Indians, who had discovered their mistake, re- 
turned and gave them a furious reception on rising the bank. 
A very warm engagement instantly ensued. The number of the 
Indians compared to those of Capt. Evans were as four to one, 
beside other advantages; but notwithstanding this difference, 
in a short time he and his company put them to flight, leaving 
three men dead on the ground. They were seen to carry off oth- 
ers, both on foot and horseback, and trails of blood from the 
wounded were observed in every direction. Their encampment 
fell into the hands of Gen. Sevier's army, with a number of 
guns of Spanish fabrication, with their budgets, blankets, match- 
coats, and some horses. Capt. Evans lost three men in this en- 
gagement, which was all the injury sustained in this expedition, 
though it had been four times attacked. After the last engage- 
ment the army of Gen. Sevier crossed the main Coosa at a place 
where the Indians had thrown up some works, which they aban- 
doned on the approach of the army, and suffered it to pass un- 
molested. The army then proceeded down the main river to the 
Turn-up Mountain, destroying as it marched several Creek and 
Cherokee towns, which they had settled together on each side of 
the river, and which they had precipitately deserted, leaving al- 
most every thing behind them. Nor did they after the battle of 

Haywood's history of Tennessee, 309 

Hightower attempt to iuternipt the march of the army. Their 
ardor and spirits were broken. The party which was routed at 
Hightower consisted of those who had been out with Watts. 
The general had also, three men wounded. The army took and 
destroyed nearly three hundred beeves. Many women and chil- 
dren might have been taken, but from motives of humanity the 
general did not encourage it. Some who were taken were suf- 
fered to escape. "You know," said he to the Governor, "the 
dispositions of many of those who are out, and can readily ac- 
count for this conduct." 

Jaudenes, a Spanish agent in the Cherokee Nation, on the 
12th of September, 1793, wrote by " The Little Turkey " to Gov. 
White, at Pensacola, to supply him with seven hundred pounds 
of powder and fourteen hundred pounds of ball for the Chero- 
kees, then embodied to the number of seven hundred, to take satis- 
faction for the death of those Indians who had been lately killed 
by Beard and his party at " The Hanging Maw's." This was done 
by the directions of the Baron de Carondalet, who in June com- 
plained so heavily of the supplies of corn andoue swivel sent to 
the Chickasavvs. How he could make himself think that what 
was so unlawful in Gen. Robertson, according to his estimation, 
was proper in himself, and that, too, for the purpose of invasion 
and butchery of those who were in nowise parties in the offen- 
sive deed, nor approved of it, but on the contrary, gave it their 
open and unreserved condemnation, is for the refinements of 
subtlety to determine. The reason which the baron gave for 
this conduct was that otherwise he should lose the confidence 
and good opinion of the Cherokees, with which he had inspired 
them toward the King of Spain. We shall presently see that 
the Spanish negotiators endeavored to give a more justifiable 
reason, well knowing that some more plausible one must be at 
least attempted. 

Not long after Gen. Sevier's expedition, Capt. Harrison in a 
scouting excursion took two Cherokees, a fellow and a squaw, 
who gave information to the people of Knoxville, whither he 
brought them, that the town on the other side of Hightower 
Eiver, where a part of Gen. Sevier's army had the late engage- 
ment, is the principal place of rendezvous for the Creeks and 
Cherokees, previous to their coming in upon the frontiers. This 
town was principally inhabited by Creeks, and was governed by 
a Creek chief called the Buffalo Horn. 

310 Haywood's histohy of Tennessee. 

After Gen. Sevier's expedition the Indians did less mischief 
on the frontier than they had usually done for some time be- 
fore. They however continued to steal cattle and horses, and 
their trails were seen in different places. 

On the 2d of October Polly Lewis and her brother, a little 
boy, were killed on the south side of French Broad, passing 
along a public road near Danbridge, in Jefferson County. She 
was a young lady eighteen years of age. 

On the 3d of October a party of thirty Indians plundered the 
house of Mr. Copeland, on the south bank of French Broad, he 
and his family having a few moments before crossed the river. 
They were eye-witnesses of the number of Indians and their 

On Sunday, the 13th of October, a party of Indians consisting 
of twenty-eight killed Mrs. Lewis and five children, and burned 
their dwellings and other houses in Greasy Cove, on the front- 
iers of Washington County, twenty miles from the path that 
leads across the Bald Mountain to North Carolina. 

On the 17th of October the grand jury for the District of 
Hamilton presented an address to the Governor. They com- 
plained in strong and plain terms of the forbearing system of 
the federal government toward the Indians, and of the mon- 
strous enormities which they daily committed. They repre- 
sented themselves and the country to be in the deepest distress, 
the public indignation roused, and the ardor of the people for 
vengeance as greatly excited, and that it was only restrained by 
respect for the laws, and for want of a constitutional channel 
through which it could flow. They hoiked their situation would 
be faithfully represented, and that Congress would no longer 
remain regardless of the calls of justice, and deaf to the voice 
of humanity. The Territory was a part of the united govern- 
ment, and had a right to expect protection. They called upon 
him to exercise whatever powers he had for their protection, and 
to secure them against the immediate outrages of savage bar- 
barity. They reminded him of the ordinance of Congress of 
1787, and of the right the people had under it to a Legislature, 
as soon as their number amounted to five thousand free male 
inhabitants. They stated that the period had arrived when 
they could claim the right, and they felt confident that he would 
concur with them in opinion. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 311 

On Sunday, the 27th of October, an Indian was killed in a 
field in Jones's Cove, on the east fork of Little Pigeon, by a 
party of Capt. Job's company, Avho were on duty for the pro- 
tection of Jefferson. On the evening of the next day another 
Indian was wounded near the same place by another party of 
Capt. Job's command. The same day several houses and stacks 
of grain were burned, and ten horses stolen by Indians in that 

On Monday, the 28th of October, a party of Indians consisting 
of twenty ambuscaded McGahey's Station, fifteen miles from 
Knoxville, fired on and wounded William Cunningham as he 
was riding on the road near a station. The people of the sta- 
tion gave immediate pursuit, but could not come up with the 
Indians. They took eight blankets and match-coats, four pair 
of moccasins, one gun and shot-pouch, three hatchets, and eight 
bags of parched meal, which the Indians in their hasty retreat 
had left behind them. 

On Monday, the 23d of December, Eoger Oats and Nicholas 
Ball were killed by Indians near Wells's Station, twenty miles 
from Knoxville, as they were transporting a load of corn to the 
block-houses for the support of their families. This party con- 
sisted of ten at least, as that number of guns was fired. They 
took four horses from the wagon, and a mulatto boy fourteen 
years of age, and left by the body of Mr. Oats a speckled stock 
trading gun, which they broke to pieces over his head, of the 
kind with which Paton and the Spaniards have supplied many 
of the Creeks. After the time they were killed, several small 
parties of Indians were discovered on the boundaries of Knox 
County, supposed to be spies from a larger body to examine the 
state of defense kept up on the frontiers. A number of the 
frontier inhabitants of the neighborhood where Oats and Ball 
were killed on the 23d of December collected and pursued the 
murderers, and were led by the trail to "The Hanging Maw's" 
camp, where they killed three men, and alas! how shall the fact 
be concealed from public notoriety? seven squaws also. 

After the 22d of April, 1793, when the proclamation of neu- 
trality was issued by the President, the Spaniards affected to 
recommend to the Indians to be at peace with the United States, 
and seemed to have relaxed their ardor for stirring them up; at 
least such indications were given by their professions, although 

312 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

they did not forbear to supply the Indians with necessaries in 
September for the prosecution of their expedition against 
Knoxville. Tlieir very dissimulation is a proof of self-condem- 
nation for the steps they had taken already, and it was a pledge 
that their conduct would shortly be changed in reality. The 
cause of those changes are now manifest, and we can see at this 
time, whilst the United States were in negotiation with Spain 
for the free navigation of the Mississippi, that the attainment 
of the objects in view might have been defeated by offensive con- 
duct toward that power, which a war with the Creeks and Cher- 
okees, their allies, whom they had taken under their protection, 
might have been considered. The neutral station which the 
United States had assumed being once ascertained, it became the 
duty and interest of their Spanish neighbors to be upon good 
terms with them, and not to provoke them by an offensive be- 
havior to relinquish the attitude they had taken. Hence their 
peace talks to the Indians in the spring and summer of this 
year, and the public letters of Gov. Gayoso disclaiming all 
agency in the promotion of misunderstandings between the In- 
dians and the people of the south-western territory, and of the 
conciliating and polite letter of the Baron de Carondalet him- 
self, to which we shall by and by have occasion to advert. 

The number of inhabitants in the Territory had now so far 
augmented as to entitle them to a territorial assembly and legis- 
lative council, according to the provision of the ordinance of 
1787. Gov. Blount on the 19th of October made an ordinance, 
in which he stated that proof had been made to him of their be- 
ing in the territory five thousand free males and upward, and 
therefore he authorized the election of persons to represent the 
people in general assembly on the third Friday and Saturday in 
December, 1793, by such electors as were specified in the ordi- 
nance of Congress of the 13th of July, 1787. Two from each of 
the counties of Washington, Hawkins, Jefferson, and Knox; and 
one from each of the counties of Sullivan, Greene, Tennessee, 
Davidson, and Sumner. The elections to be conducted under 
the regulations prescribed by the election laws of North Caro- 
lina; and the returning officers were directed to certify the 
names of the elected to the Secretary's office at Knoxville as 
soon as might be. On the 22d and 23d of December elections 
were held accordingly in all the counties of the Territory, and 

Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 'SI'S 

the people elected Alexander Kelly and John Baird for the 
county of Knox, George Doherty and Samuel Weir for Jeffer- 
son, Joseph Harding for Greene, Leeroy Taylor and John Tip- 
ton for Washington, George Eutledge for Sullivan, William 
Cocke and Joseph McMinn for Hawkins, James White for 
Davidson, David AVilson for Sumner, and James Ford for Ten- 

Gov. Blount had studied from the days of his infancy in the 
school of the world, and by a long course of critical examina- 
tions had discovered the most elastic springs of human action. 
He had been particularly conversant with the political branch 
of mankind, and had learned with accuracy which were the ap- 
plications most likely to gain them. He was perfectly convinced 
that the remonstrances of the south-western people, when made 
by an assembled body of the people's representatives, woiild 
have much greater effect than when made by individuals not 
clothed with the representative character. He labored, there- 
fore, indefatigably to procure for them that indispensable organ, 
No sooner were the elections over than, by a proclamation is- 
sued on the 1st of January, 1794, he appointed the Assembly to 
meet at Knoxville on the fourth Monday of February, 1794. 
The Assembly, on the day appointed, convened at Knoxville, 
and appointed David Wilson, Esq., their Speaker, and Hopkins 
Lacy, Esq., their Clerk. And it is to be considered as an auspi- 
cious omen of the future prosperity of their young empire that 
they laid its foundations in piety to God. On the next day the 
members, preceded by the Governor and the Speaker, went in 
procession to the place of worship, where the Bev. Mr. Carrick, 
after offering up an appropriate prayer, preached to them from 
these words in the Epistle of Paul to Titus: "In hope of eternal 
life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world be- 
gan; but hath in due time manifested his word through preach- 
ing, which is committed unto me according to the command- 
ment of God our Saviour." 

They elected ten persons, out of whom five were to be chosen 
by Congress as the Legislative Council. They appointed a com- 
mittee to draft an address to the Governor, which was drawn ac- 
cordingly and approved of, in which they strongly recommended 
some offensive measures, could they be resorted to; otherwise, 
that defensive ones might at least be adopted, and block-houses 


erected on the frontiers at all proper places, many of which 
they named. And they stated that until the frontier people 
should be better protected, it would be impossible for them to 
raise their crops, and that they would be forced to evacuate 
their plantations, and to leave others in the same desolate cir- 
cumstances. They recommended a guard for the protection of 
the Cumberland members on their return, adverting to the re- 
cent fact of an express having been severely wounded in the 
wilderness, as he came from Nashville to Knoxville. 

The committee also, who were appointed for the purpose 
(Messrs. White, Cocke, Kelly, Weir, and Taylor), drew an ad- 
dress to Congress, which was approved of by the House and 
was signed by the Speaker. In it they demanded a declara- 
tion of war against the Creeks and Cherokees, and stated that 
since the treaty of the Holston they had killed in a most bar- 
barous and inhuman manner upward of two hundred citizens 
of the United States, residents in this Territory, without re- 
gard to age or sex, and carried others into captivity and slav- 
ery; they had robbed the citizens of their slaves, stolen at 
least two thousand horses, which, at a moderate calculation, 
were worth $100,000; destroyed their cattle aud hogs, burned 
their houses and grain, and laid waste their plantations; and 
yet continued the commission of the atrocious violation of the 
laws of humanity and existing treaties with impunity. "While 
the citizens of the Territory, lovers of peace and adhering to the 
treaties, have done them no injuries except in defense of their 
persons or property, or in immediate retaliation, they have com- 
pelled," said the address, "a large proportion of your citizens 
to assemble together, at different stations on the frontiers, for 
the common defense, consisting of from twenty-Eve to three 
hundred at a station, miserably crowded together in small huts, 
where they have remained from September, 1792, anxiously ex- 
pecting peace or a legally authorized war, of which a permanent 
and speedy peace would be the certain result. Besides the just 
causes of war daily given by these two faithless nations, we con- 
ceive it essential to call to your recollection their two powerful 
invasions of this country — the first in September, 1792, consist- 
ing of one thousand Creeks and Cherokees, who on the 30th of 
that month attacked Buchanon's Station, within five miles of 
Nashville, and Avere repulsed; the second in September, 1793, 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 315 

consisting of nine hundred, who on the 25th of that month at- 
taclfed Cavet's Station, within eight miles of Knoxville, and in a 
manner too shocking to relate murdered Cavet and his family, 
thirteen in number." They returned thanks for that share of 
defensive protection which had been extended to the country, 
but lamented that it was of too little avail, and must continue to 
be so upon so extended and exposed a frontier — a frontier of 
upward of four hundred miles, surrounded with mountains or 
covered with heavy timber, or a rich, thick growth of cane, af- 
fording enemies an opportunity to approach the j)lantations un- 
discovered; and after committing murder or theft, to retreat 
Avith safety and to evade the most diligent pursuit. " Scarcely," 
they said, "is there a man of this body but can recount a dear 
wife or child, an aged parent or near relation, besides friends, 
massacred by the hands of these blood-thirsty nations, in their 
houses or fields; nor are our neighbors and friends less miser- 
able. They too can enumerate the suffering of equal calami- 
ties. Such have been," they say, "the sufferings of your fellow- 
citizens resident in this Territory, more thau ought to be imposed 
on men who by their joint exertions with the citizens of the 
United States at large have acquired freedom and independence. 
"We love peace, admire and revere our excellent form of gov- 
ernment, and are afraid of war in no shape except that which 
the first law of nature and self-defense may enforce uponns un- 
authorized by your declaration, which heaven avert! But should 
the first law, in which all nature agrees, compel such a measure, 
we trust those who are obliged to submit to it will not be held 
chargeabla with the consequences." 

They rejoiced in the vigorous measures which Congress was 
about to take against the rapacious and enslaving Algerines, and 
concluded with reminding Congress that the citizens who live in 
poverty on the extreme frontiers were as much entitled to be 
protected in their lives, their families, and little property as 
those who were in luxury, ease, and affluence in the great and 
opulent Atlantic cities. The Governor then prorogued the As- 
sembly to the fourth Monday in August. This address con- 
tained a most accurate statement of the public sufferings, feel- 
ings, and opinions; and gave one instance, among many others, 
of the exact estimate which can be made of the people by the 
representation they have in the legislative body. If brave and 

316 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

virtuous, lovers of truth, of liouesty, and of order, so lu general 
are also their members of the Legislature; if immoral, •in- 
triguing, and faithless, their representation is of the same 

On the 10th of January, 1794, Capt. Evans, of the Knox 
County Cavalry, in execution of an order to patrol in advance 
of the settlements from the Eagle Ford, on the Clinch, to the 
Chilhowee, on the Tennessee, for the protection of the frontiers, 
fell in with a trail of shod horses, which he supposed to be those 
taken when Oats and Ball were killed. Pursuing it, he was led 
through the Tellico Plains to an Indian camp in a thick laurel 
pfetch, on the ascent of a mountain. The Indians received infor- 
mation of his approach before he could surround the camp, and 
betook themselves to flight, but from the dexterity of his men — 
as experienced riflemen as any in the world — one was killed and 
several wounded, as appeared by the blood, and a boy and girl 
were made prisoners. At the camp was found the scalp of Mr. 
Oats, known by his bald head, together with several others, and 
a horse stolen from the French Broad. The mulatto boy sup- 
posed to have been made prisoner when Oats and Ball w^ere 
killed was soon afterward found dead. 

On the 23d of January a party of Indians, supposed to be 
twenty, fired upon a man of the name of Jones, on the Clinch 
Biver, and pursued him upward of a mile. Seven balls passed 
through his clothes, none of which touched his skin. 

On the 4th of February, 1794, James Russell, Piobert Shan- 
non, and William Con, on their way from Nashville to Knoxville, 
were ambuscaded in the Cumberland Mountains, eighteen miles 
from South-west Point, by a party of Indians consisting of about 
twenty-five, who fired on them and wounded Russell in the body 
and arm. Russell and Shannon were coming from Gen. Rob- 
ertson to Gov. Blount with public dispatches. That these men 
were not killed may be counted amongst miracles. The facts are 
these: As they passed Obed's River the preceding day they dis- 
covered a fire, which induced them to push forward about four- 
teen miles, when they turned off the road and lay all night with- 
out a fire, judging that they would be followed by the Indians. 
The next morning they kept the woods four miles before they 
struck the road, and, finding no signs of Indians, they pursued 
their route in confidence that they had not been discovered. 


But tliey had not proceeded above half a mile when they found 
themselves in a well-chosen spot for an ambuscade, surrounded 
by Indians, the most distant of whom was within thirty feet. 
They all fired, and many of them threw their tomahawks, with- 
out doing any injury except to Eussell. The ball which struck 
him was turned in its direction by a large metal button, or it 
would have jDassed through the most vital part of his body. He 
got to the block-house at West Point, and there was put under 
the care of a surgeon. 

On Friday, the 7th of February, 1794, Peter Bowerman, a sol- 
dier in Capt. Singleton's company of militia, was fired on by 
three Indians, four miles above Wells's Station. One ball 
struck his hunting-shirt. About the same time they stole the 
horses of Elijah Chissum and others, near Pevehouse's Station. 
On the same day a party of the Hawkins County militia, from 
German Creek, consisting of James Ore, Thomas Mitchell, Ed- 
ward Mitchell, and others, to the number of twenty-one, went 
in pursuit of the Indians who stole Chissum's horses, and after 
following them eighty miles came up with them on the north 
bank of the Cumberland River, near the mouth of Richland 
Creek. Two of them were killed and scalped, and the horses 
were retaken. At the camp were found several articles of cloth- 
ing belonging to white people — particularly a hunting-shirt 
which had two bullet-holes in it — proofs that these Indians had 
killed several white persons. 

On Sunday, the 10th of March, 1794, Samuel Martin was 
killed by Indians near Henry's Station, on the path to his fa- 
ther's house; and about sunset on the same day James Fergu- 
son, his sister, and David Craig's son were fired upon by In- 
dians from an ambuscade, between David Craig's and John 
Craig's Stations. They killed Ferguson. The other two fortu- 
nately escaped to John Craig's Station. 

Information arrived about this time from Seneca, of the date 
of the 20tli of February, which assured the people of Holston 
that the chiefs of the valley towns of the Cherokees would main- 
tain a state of peace toward the United States; that the lower 
Cherokees still persevered in their choice of war; that Double- 
head, of the lower Cherokees, with his usual activity, had been 
there lately recruiting a party to waylay the Cumberland and 
Kentucky roads, and to harass the frontiers of Mero District. 

318 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

On the 12th of March the post rider from Kentucky to Haw- 
kins Court-house, and twelve travelers who were in company 
with him, were fired upon by Indians from an ambuscade by 
the roadside, near Middleton's Station, and four men were killed, 
three of whom were preachers — two of the Baptist Society, Mr. 
Hagg-ard and Mr. Shelton. These Indians were supposed to be 
Creeks and Cherokees, and to be headed by Doublehead, alias 
Tucalatague, who with his own hands since the treaty of the 
Holston, to which he was a signer, had shed as much human 
blood as any man of his age in America. 

Early in the moruing of Sunday, the 10th of March, 1794, a 
party of Indians who lay in ambush near the path leading to 
the house'of William Eussell, on Beaver Dam Creek, fired upon 
John and Bobert Wood, shot both their horses, ^and wounded 
the former through the body and leg. On the 19th a party of 
Indians was discovered near the Bull Bun block-house, but 
made no attempt on it. On the same evening several Indians 
ascended the logs of David McBride's dwelling; but finding 
themselves discovered, leaped down and ran off. From the 
Beaver Dam settlements they took sixteen horses, killed all the 
cattle they could find and left them to spoil, and also took two 
horses from Wilson, on the Pigeon. 

James Ore, with a party of the Hawkins militia and a detach- 
ment of Capt. Lewis's company of Virginia troops, commanded 
by Ensign Calvin — seventeen in all — pursued more than one 
hundred miles those Indians who waylaid, killed, and robbed 
the travelers in the Kentucky road, on the 11th of March; and 
they returned to Knoxville on the 30th. The party of Indians 
which he followed, as appeared by their marks and figures in- 
scribed on trees, were twenty-five in number, and had taken four 
scalps, one of them from the beard of a Dunkard preacher. 
They had sixteen stolen horses. The difference of numbers 
would not have induced Mr. Ore to turn back; but it was dis- 
covered that their numbers were increasing from camps in the 
mountains, and not making for their towns, but probably to 
form a large camp and make another stroke upon the Cumber- 
land or Kentucky road, or some of the frontiers, before they 
should return home. 

On Tuesday, the 1st of April, a party of Indians, supposed 
to consist of from thirty to forty, ambuscaded a path near Cal- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 319 

vin's block-house, on Crooked Creek, a branch of the Little 
River, fourteen miles from Knoxville, and fii-ed upon Samuel 
Wear, his two sous, and William McMurray, as they were going 
from the block-house to work on their farms. One ball passed 
through the clothes of McMurray. On their retreat to the sta- 
tion another party of Indians, who had also waylaid the path, 
fired upon them, but did no injury. 

On the same day a party of Indians consisting of from forty 
to fifty ambuscaded the road near the Crab Orchard, leading 
from Knoxville to Nashville, and hred upon a company of trav- 
elers consisting of five persons; killed Thomas Sharp Spencer, 
wounded James Walker, killed two horses and wounded a third. 
Hence the name of Spencer's Hill Spencer had with him 
about one thousand dollars in gold and many valuable articles, 
which fell into their hands. These travelers left the block- 
house at South-west Point in the morning, and the survivors 
returned to it in the night of the same day. 

On the night of the 2d of April a party of Indians consisting 
of twenty-five secreted themselves near the block-house at the 
mouth of Town Creek, commanded by Sergt. Herrod, of the 
12tli company of the third sub-legion of the United States, and 
early the next morning fired upon and killed AVilliam Green, a 
soldier, attempted to gain the door of the block-house and were 
repulsed, leaving behind them a rifle-gun, a scalping-knife, one 
blanket, one French chapeau, eight ramrods, and eight gun- 
lock covers. An Indian in attempting to scalp Green was 
shot through the hand, which obliged him to drop his rifle 
and scalping-knife. Three other Indians were wounded, one 
of them within one hundred paces of the block-house. He 
bled considerably, but was carried off. They stole about this 
time twenty-seven horses from Knox County and four from 

On the 6th Mrs. Livingston, the mother of Peter and Henry 
Livingston, and tjpo children were killed and scalped near Mock- 
ason Gap, in Virginia, and the wives of Peter and Henry Liv- 
ingston and three children were made prisoners. A party of 
the neighboring militia, commanded by Vincent Hibbs, gave 
immediate pursuit, killed two of the Indians, and regained the 
two women and two of the negroes. One of the Indians killed 
was supposed to be Bench, the noted Cherokee chief who for a 


long time, by his repeated butcheries, had been the terror of the 

On the 13th sixteen horses were stolen from the settlements 
on Beaver Dam Creek, and many more from the frontiers of 
Jefferson County. 

On the 14th a party of Indians pursued Moses Stegall on the 
north side of the Copper Eidge so closely that he was forced 
to abandon his horse to effect his escape, and on the same day 
nine horses were stolen from that neighborhood. 

On the 15th they stole ten horses from Mr. Gibbs, making in 
the course of a few days upward of fifty horses taken from the 
frontier inhabitants within the compass of ten miles. Some 
of the inhabitants were left without a horse to draw the plow. 

On the 22d William Casteel, his wife, and five children were 
killed on the south side of the French Broad, eight miles from 
Knoxville. Several guns were heard about day-break near the 
same place. At the same time the Creeks and Cherokees gave 
repeated and solemn assurances to Mr. Seagrove, the Agent of 
the United States for Indian Affairs, of their determination to 
desist from war and be at peace with the United States. The 
frontiers in the anguish of alarm called aloud for Gen. Sevier 
from all quarters, who, having been confined for some time by 
indisposition, was unable to appear amongst them. But when 
at length he did appear, their fears subsided and the storm of 
inquietude was hushed. Posts were established at different 
points, and new arrangements were made as best suited the pro- 
tection they were intended to give. 

On the 13th of May fresh recruits were ordered to be raised 
and stationed at different points on the frontiers to save the in- 
habitants against the attempts of the Indians upon their lives 
or properties, and they were placed at Houghs, the burned 
canebrake, at the Painted Rock, and at the Warm Springs, 
with orders from thence to range and reconnoiter, as the sever- 
al commanding officers should think most advisable from time 
to time. The Indians about this time began to make repeated 
professions of a sincere desire for peace, and Gov. Blount be- 
lieved them. He also believed that peace would shortly be re- 
stored to the Territory. 

On the 14th of May Joseph Evans, Thomas Sellers, Samuel 
Sellers, and James Hubbard^, Jr., set out in pursuit of a party 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 321 

of Indians who had killed Piercy field, to take satisfaction. But 
not falling upon their trail, they made toward the Big Tellico 
towns, where they discovered a large encampment of Indian 
warriors. In the night they went into their camp and killed 
four fellows asleep on the ground, and immediately retreated 
and got safe into the settlement. Evans and his party were 
dressed and painted like Indians. 

" The Hanging Maw" in his letter to the Governor imputes to 
the Spaniards that they had been always persuading the Chero- 
kees to go to war, "but that," said he, "is now over, and we are 
determined not to take their talks. We listened to the Spanish 
talk a good while, but we have found them to be liars, and we 
are now determined to take the United States by the hand. The 
young fellows in the lower town were seduced first and took the 
Spanish talks, but now their minds are changed." He assured 
the Governor that Watts was for peace, and "The Turkey" also; 
the lower towns as well as the upper. These declarations may 
be considered as evidences of a change of Spanish conduct to- 
ward the United States, and the inclinations of the Cherokees 
at that time to be on good terms with the United States as one 
of the fruits of that change, and of the advice which they had 
lately received from the Creek Nation. These were favorable 
indications, which afforded grounds to hope that a few more in- 
centives to peace would actually produce it. Could the United 
States become well-seated in the good-will of the Spanish court, 
thib, with a few correctives well-timed and well-administered to 
the Indians themselves, both northern and southern, with some 
notice taken by Congress of the suffering inhabitants "bf the 
south-western territory, would in all likelihood render a desire 
for peace no longer a mere topic for conversation, but an object 
really attainable. 

On the 25th of June Stephen Jones was killed by Indians on 
the east fork of Little Pigeon; and in the same month a boat 
called "Scott's Boat" left Knoxville for Natchez, on board of 
which were William Scott, John Pettegrew, William Pettegrew, 
Mr. Tate, Mr. Young, John Harkins, three women, four chil- 
dren, and twenty negroes. The boat was laden with several 
tons of pots, kettles, cast-iron ware, and other valuable prop- 
erty. As this boat passed down the Tennessee it was fired upon 
by the lower Cherokees of the Running Water, and at the 

322 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Long Island village without receiving an injury. On the other 
hand the fire was returned, and two Indians were wounded. A 
large party of a hundred and fifty Indians then collected, head- 
ed by Unacala, the same who was wounded at the attack upon 
Buchanon's Station in September, 1792, and they pursued the 
boat to Muscle Shoals, where they overtook it. They killed all 
the white people who were in it, made prisoners of the negroes, 
and plundered the boat of its lading. The white peojjle, in mak- 
ing resistance, killed three Indians and wounded a fourth. It is 
here to be remembered that the free and unmolested naviga- 
tion of the Tennessee Kiver by the citizens of the United States 
was secured to them by the treaty of Holston. 

On the 24th of July a party of Xiidians killed John Ish at his 
plow in his field, within one hundred and eighty yards of his 
own block-house, and scalped him. Ish lived eighteen miles be- 
low Knoxville. He left a wife and eleven childreu, the eldest 
not more than eleven years of age. Maj. King and Lieut. Cun- 
ningham, with John Boggs and ten other Cherokees, sent by 
"The Hanging Maw" in pursuit of the ofPenders, returned a few 
days afterward with a Creek, whom "The Hanging Maw" wished 
to scalp, but was dissuaded from his purpose and took only the 
war lock, with which they danced the scalp-dance all night. But 
the Cherokees apprehended for this act the resentment of the 
Creek Nation. Maj. King, in the pursuit, came upon the trail 
of the murderers leading into the path that was traveled from 
Coyatee to Hiwassee, which he kept to a point within two miles 
of Hiwassee. He there received information that those he was 
in pursuit of passed with a fresh scalp about the middle of the 
afternoon, and would, it was supposed, tarry all night at Woco- 
cee, eight miles ahead. The pursuers went to AVococee, and 
finding the murderers still ahead, they continued the pursuit 
till they were overtaken by a runner from Hiwassee with infor- 
mation that one of Ish's murderers was behind, stopped at a lit- 
tle village two miles from Hiwassee. Despairing to overtake 
the main body, they turned back and found the Creek as the 
runner had rej^orted, in the house of a Cherokee. After some 
consultation as to whether the Cherokees or white people should 
kill or take him, "The Maw's" son, Willioe, with three others, 
seized and tied him. Having tied him, four warriors took him in 
charge, who were particularly careful that he should not escape 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 323 

until he was delivered, confined in cords, to the Agent o£ the 
United States, Mr. McKee, at the Tellico block-house, on the 
evening of the 28th of July. The Governor issued a commis- 
sion of oyer and terminer for the trial of this Indian, pursuant 
to the stipulations contained in the treaty of New York. A 
court was held by Judge Anderson, an indictment was found by 
the grand jury against Obongpohego, of Toocaucaugee, on Oak- 
fuskee. When charged, he confessed the fact. He said the up- 
per towns had thrown away the peace talks made in pursuance 
of the treaty of New York, and had taken up the hatchet, and 
justified the fact charged to him. But the court permitted him 
to withdraw his plea and to plead not guilty, which being done, 
the trial proceeded and the petit jury found him guilty of the 
murder of John Ish, as charged in the bill of indictment. Being 
asked what he had to say why the sentence of the law should 
not be pronounced, he replied that he had not any thing to say; 
that he came out with an intention of killing and stealing or of 
being killed; that he had killed the man for which he had been 
tried, and that it had been his misfortune to fall into the hands 
of the whites; that he should have escaped from them had it not 
been for the Cherokees; and that should he now be put to death, 
there were enough of his nation remaining to revenge his death. 
He was sentenced and executed on the 4:th of August — whether 
lawfully or not depends more upon the decision of the jurist, 
who is versed in the law of nations, than of the casuist, and much 
perhaps upon the figurative allegation made by the prisoner 
that his nation had taken up the hatchet; For, by the general 
understanding of all mankind, the intervention of war suspends 
all prior treaties so long as it shall continue. 

Two days afterward eight Creeks were seen twenty-five miles 
below Hiwassee, on their way to the settlements south of the 
French Broad; nine of them soon afterward crossed Hiwassee 
below Chestuee, and inquired whether the Cherokees who took 
the Creek warrior that killed Ish were at home; and about the 
same time another party of Creeks, a hundred in number, crossed 
the Tennessee near the mouth of the Chiccamauga, intending to 
fall on the north-western parts of Knox or Hawkins Counties. 
The war-whoop was raised at the camp of "The Hanging Maw," 
and twelve of the Cherokees turned out to pursue them, headed 
by "The Maw's" son, Willioe, and with them five of the Federal 

324 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

troops; these were shortly afterward followed by other Chero- 
kees and another Federal soldier. Amongst them was " The Mid- 
dle Striker" and Sergt. Townsly. The j^nrsuing party, arriving at 
the Tennessee, where the Creeks crossed, consisted of fifty-three 
Cherokees, commanded by "The Middle Striker" and AVillioe, 
and several of the Federal troops, commanded by Sergt. Towns- 
ly. Pursuing the Creek trail, which made directly for the set- 
tlements, they came up with the Creeks about 1 o'clock in the 
afternoon of the 10th of August, in sight of Maj. Craig's Station, 
killed &:3.d scalped one of them and wounded another; took two 
guns, onb Ratchet, one pistol, several bridles and slave-strings, 
blankets, match-coats, and provisions. The Creeks gave the 
first fire, and one Cherokee was slightly wounded. The return of 
the party was announced by the death-song and the firing of 
guns; joy and triumph were depicted in the face of each war- 
rior; the night was spent in dancing the scalp-dance, according 
to the custom of warriors after a victory over their enemies, in 
which the white and red people heartily joined. The Upper 
Cherokees had now stepped too far to go back, and their profes- 
sions of friendship were now no longer to be questioned. 

On the 12th, about 10 o'clock at night, a party of Indians con- 
sisting of fifteen attacked the Bnllrun block-house, sixteen miles 
north of Knoxville, at which a non-commissioned ofiicer and ten 
privates were stationed for the defense of the frontiers, and con- 
tinued around it until the arrival of Capt. Baird with a party of 
the neighboring militia to its relief. The Federal troops received 
no injury, and the fire was warmly returned. On the same day 
Capt. Evans, with the part of his company which was under his 
immediate command, Lieut. McClelland having been detached 
with another part, fell on the trail of Indians who had stolen 
horses from Hinds's field on the 10th, and pursuing the trail to 
Cumberland Mountain, overtook them, killed one, and regained 
the horses. 

On the 13th Lieut. McClelland, who had with him thirty- 
seven of Capt. Evans's company, was attacked on the Cumber- 
land path, near the Crab Orchard, eighteen miles from South- 
west Point, by a body of Creeks consisting of upward of one 
hundred warriors. He made a brave and soldierly defense, twice 
repelling the Creeks, but was finally compelled to retreat, with 
the loss of four men killed, one wounded, four missing, thirty- 


one horses, thirty-eight saddles and bridles, blankets, great-coats, 
and provisions. On the side of the Creeks the loss was not as- 
certained, but from the obstinacy and bravery of the defense and 
the report of Lieut. McClelland and others there was reason to 
believe they lost from tv.elve to sixteen. The Creek commander 
was conspicuously bold, and was numbered amongst the slain. 
The white men who were killed were Paul Cunningham, Daniel 
Hitchcock, William Flennegan, and Stephen Kenfroe. Abra- 
ham Byrd was wounded. The four men who were missing from 
the detachment after the action afterward reached South-west 
Point. William Lea, one of that number, arrived on the 18th, 
and reported tbat he had been made prisoner by the Indians, 
and had escaped from them. When he made his escape they 
were two hundred in number, and their main camp was within 
eighteen miles of South-west Point block-house. 

On the 14th, in the evening, the Indians fired on William 
Blackburn and David F. Dearmon, the former a Federal and the 
latter a militia soldier on duty at Fort Grainger, twenty-two 
miles below Knoxville. In September and October, and before 
the middle of November, the misfortunes of the frontier settlers 
began to be alleviated, but were not wholly terminated. Never- 
theless, on the 18th of September, a man of the name of Walker 
was captured by the Indians on the frontiers of Hawkins Coun- 
ty, as he passed from his own house to that of a neighbor; and 
on the 13th of November Peter Greaves was killed by the In- 
dians within a quarter of a mile of Sharp's Station, near the 
south bank of the Clinch River, twenty miles north of Knox- 
ville. The Indians who killed him had waylaid the path, and 
fired at so short a distance that he was powder-burned. On 
being wounded, he ran, was pursued, and much hacked with a 
sword; and fi'om the force of the blows about six inches of the 
point of the blade were broken off. Two scalps were taken from 
his head. 

On the 20th of December a party of Indians, about two hours 
after dark, secreted themselves within twenty feet of the door of 
Thomas Cowan, and fired upon his wife and son as they stepped 
into the yard, and pierced the clothes of the latter with eight 
balls; but he escaped under cover of the night into the woods, 
and Mrs. Cowan returned into the house unhurt. The firing 
alarmed the neighborhood, and Capt. Baird was at Cowan's with 

826 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

twenty men within an hour and a half, and patrolled the woods 
the whole night in search of the Indians, hoping they would 
strike tip a fire by which he could discover them. On the next 
day, by order of Gov. Blount, he went in pursuit of them. The 
child of Mrs. CafPrey was brought by the Creeks on the 14th, 
and delivered into the possession of Mr. Sj)ann, on the Oconee 
Biver, in Montgomery County, in the State of Georgia. He had 
been separated from his mother, who had been delivered to Mr. 
Seagrove, and publication was now made by Mr. Spann, that she 
might know where to apply for him. During the whole of this 
year, while the offensive operations of the Indians were in pro- 
gression, Gov. Blount industriously applied himself to the em- 
ployment of every expedient which could by possibility smooth 
the way to a pacification of the Indians. He even made an appeal 
to the Creek sense of justice, and requested of the leaders to be 
informed why their nation for the last ten years and more had 
killed the people of this Territory without regard to age or sex, 
and had taken away more than one thousand horses. "In the 
original division of land," said he, *' amongst the red people, it is 
well known that the Creek lands were bounded on the north by 
the ridge which divides the waters of the Mobile and the Tennes- 
see. It is true, since the people of Georgia have driven your 
hunters from the sea-shore, that many of them had gone to Cum- 
berland in pursuit of game, and that of late years your nation 
has put a claim to Cumberland; but McGillevray, when at New 
York, ceded that claim. The Cumberland country, many years 
past, was claimed by the northern Indians; they sold it, and were 
paid for it. It was then claimed by the Chickasaws, and they 
have sold it and been paid for it. Last of all, the Creeks claimed 
it, and their claim has been ceded by the United States. When 
Gen. Oglethorpe first landed in Georgia, the Creeks generally 
hunted down to the sea, and did not turn their attention toward 
the Cumberland. By the treaty of New York the Creeks gave 
up all the land north of the thirty-four degrees forty-seven min- 
utes of north latitude." But it was in vain to open to them the 
book of morality, for other lessons than that could teach were 
necessary to make them understand the duties which they owed 
to the people of the south-western territory. But as little de- 
sirous as they were for a long time that peace should be re- 
established, yet on all occasions they were profuse in their wishes 

HAYAVOOD'S history of TENNESSEE, 327 


for peace. The Creek nation some time in March, at a general 
meeting, authorized a talk to be sent to Panton, stating their sat- 
isfaction at the communications made to them by Mr. Seagrove 
and their rejection of the Spanish proposals to join in war against 
the French and Americans who might be coming down the Mis- 
sissippi to attack the Spanish territories; and that they were 
unwilling to hear of any such like proposals for the future; they 
distracted their people, disturbed their peace and hunting, and 
they informed Mr. Panton that his talks have been injurious to 
their peace and true interests, and that they were determined to 
hear no more of his advice. They advised him to mind his trade 
and not to trouble himself about their public concerns. 

"The Hanging Maw" in May declared his people (the Chero- 
kees) would no longer listen to the Spaniards, who were contin- 
ually instigating them to war; that their young men had been 
seduced by them, but were now entirely alienated from them; 
that Watts and "The Turkey," as also the lower towns as well as 
the upper, were all for peace. With respect to a part of each na- 
tion, these professions were real, when, with respect to other 
parts, they were wholly illusory. A comparison of dates will 
show that almost simultaneously with every declaration in favor 
of peace some of the inhabitants were slain or plundered, as if 
the declaration were made to lull them into security. It was on 
the 15th of June, 1794, whilst Mr. McKee held conferences with 
the Cherokees for the re-establishment of peace, that the Indians 
killed Casteel and family. At this treacherous behavior the 
frontier people became ungovernably exasperated, and, in the 
absence of Gov. Blount, a party of them rose and destroyed the 
goods of the United States, which had been sent to the block- 
house to be disposed of as presents to the Cherokees. The doers 
of this deed were soon convinced of its impolicy, as well as 
temerity, repented of their misbehavior, and it was passed over in 
silence. In the latter part of the same month the Governor 
communicated to the chiefs of the Cherokees the intelligence 
he had received, that Talotiskee was out to take satisfaction for 
the death of "The Bench," who had killed at different times forty 
or fifty persons. He demanded of them if this was not true, and, 
moreover, whether he was not pursued and killed for having 
massacred an old woman. In the face of all the pretenses which 
they made, their sincerity was put to an infallible test. Their 

328 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

council, on the 13tli of July, answered Gov. Blonnt that it was 
impossible to give up the property they had captured and had 
in possession, it having been taken in war. Lives and property, 
they observed, were taken on both sides. Peace would be given 
to the United States, if they were willing to accept of it, by let- 
ting every thing past be done away with and forgotten. They 
were willing on their part to forget them. They could not in- 
terfere, they said, to prevent the Creeks from passing through 
their country; they imposed upon them, they said, as well as the 
United States. From these answers it is easy to see how little 
the Cherokees were inclined to peace. Like the courtiers of more 
enlightened nations, they had learned the cant phrases profes- 
sive of attachment to the duties of humanity and the peace of 
mankind, and, as they do, used them as the formulas of civility. 
The terms, too, in which their resolutions were conveyed were 
humiliating and provoking; and so far was the majority of the 
nation from opposing any obstacle to the passage of the Creeks 
through their Nation, that on the 27th of July a large party of 
Creeks, nearly one thousand, marched through their country 
toward the white settlement. Col. White was ordered to draw 
out one-half of the Knox County militia to oppose them. The 
Cherokee women and children passed over to the north side of 
the Tennessee and placed themselves under the block-house ; the 
upper Cherokees promised to co-operate with Col. White. This 
formidable party of Indians stopped at Will's Town and de- 
manded "The Middle Striker" and Willioe to be delivered to 
them in satisfaction of the Creek whom they had apprehended, 
and wlio was tried and executed at Knoxville. But insincere as 
the Indians were in all the assurances they gave of a desire for 
peace, many efficient circumstances were preparing to be com- 
bined for the production of different sentiments; and, as if by 
predestinated appointment, began nearly at the same time to 
advance into prospect. 

A committee of Congress reported on the memorial presented 
by the House of Representatives at Knoxville, in February, that 
the residents of the western frontier had experienced, and still 
continued to suffer, the most cruel and inhuman aggressions 
from large bodies of savages of the Creek and Cherokee nations; 
that they, notwithstanding their solemn engagements to the con- 
trary, and the most express stipulations in the treaties of Hoi- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 329 

ston and New York, had continued to invade tlie settlements 
on that frontier, and to commit thefts and murders unparalleled 
but by people of the like savage and ferocious natures. And, 
amongst other things, they gave it as their opinion that the sit- 
uation of the south-western territory in general, and of Mero 
District in particular, called for the most energetic measures on 
the part of the government. They recommended calling out 
the militia for offensive operations; and that authority be given 
to the Governor of the Territory, when he apprehended invasion, 
to order out such part of the territorial militia as he should judge 
proper to repel, annoy, and pursue such invading party of In- 
dians; and to give information to the President by express of 
the existing circumstances; and to continue it in the field until 
the cause ceased, or until further or other orders should be re- 
ceived from the President. The House of Representatives con- 
sidered and approved of this report, and ordered a bill to be 
prepared accordingly. It finally miscarried. But proceeding 
to such lengths showed that a great part of the United States 
were indignant at their behavior, and in a little time would 
probably have recourse to very coercive expedients. Another 
of those efficient circumstances came into existence in August. 
On the 20th of this month, one hundred and forty-six miles in 
front of Greeneville, the advance-guard of Gen. Wayne's army, 
consisting of two companies, was attacked by eleven hundred 
Indians and Canadian militia. The advance-guard fell back on 
the main body and threw it into confusion, which occasioned a 
retreat of a hundred paces, where it again formed. After two 
fires, they charged the enemy, upon which the latter immediate- 
ly gave ground. The United States troops rushing forward 
with irresistible impetuosity, the enemy were dislodged from all 
their coverts, and the cavalry pursued their flying troops two 
miles, when they dispersed. The action continued one hour 
and a quarter. Thirty men killed were lost by the United 
States army, and eighty wounded, some of them valuable ofii- 
cers. One hundred and twenty-seven scalps were taken, and a 
number killed in the river that were not scalped. The army re- 
mained three days on the ground, which was on the banks of 
the Miami, in the vicinity of the British post and garrison at 
the foot of the rapids, and then returned to Fort Defiance, at 
the mouth of the Auglaize. The action happened within sight 


of a strong British fort, regularly built, and garrisoned with 
three hundred men, forty or fifty miles below Tort -Oefiance, on 
the Miami of the Lakes. On the bottoms of this river the In- 
dians had five thousand acres of land in corn, a great part of 
which the Federal army destroyed. The northern Indians were 
dispirited, and soon after sued for peace. The southern tribes 
began to view it as a possible if not a probable contingency that 
the arms of these victorious troops might be erelong turned 
against themselves, and react the same scenes in their country 
as they had on the Miami of the Lakes on the 20th of August. 
The Nickajack expedition soon followed the intelligence they 
received of the disastrous fate of the northern Indians. Ap- 
palled by so many threatening aspects, their spirits sunk, and 
by adversity they learned the folly of duplicity. 

On the 29th of October Doublehead, a principal chief of the 
lower Cherokees, sent to Gov. Blount a peace talk. His Indian 
name was Tucalatague. He was a signer of tlie treaty of Hol- 
ston, and he was one of the nineteen deputies who were appoint- 
ed to visit the President for the restoration of peace. He was 
the first person who violated the treaty of Holston by killing 
the two nephews of Gen. Sevier shortly after it was made. And 
he had continued from that time to kill and plunder until the 
murder of Thomas Sharp Spencer, at the Crab Orchard in April, 
a few days before his departure for Philadelphia. In his peace 
talk to the Governor were contained assurances of a sincere de- 
sire on the part of the Cherokees to observe a peaceable con- 
duct toward the United States, as had been agreed upon, he 
said, in the late conferences with the President and Secretary 
of "War. Some of the chiefs, he said, were backward in coming 
to the late meeting of chiefs at the Oconee to devise the meas- 
ures to be pursued for the attainment aiad maintenance of peace; 
because of the late expedition into their country and killing 
some of their people. But the Creeks being pointed out to 
them as the authors of this misfortune, they had become satis- 
fied. The Governor, in his answer, wished for peace, "by which," 
said he, "you are to understand that not one more white man is 
to be killed." The supplicatory style used by Doublehead, and 
his readiness to exclude from complaint that which had so late- 
ly happened at Nickajack, together with the substitution on the 
part of the Governor of positive injunction in place of the ex- 


postulatioDS hitherto employed, afford high evidence that in 
the opinion of both parties their circumstances had been great- 
ly altered by recent events, of which, perhaps, the affair of 
Nickajack is not to be considered one of the most inoperative. 
Their conclusions in favor of peace were hastened by a report, 
which had acquired general circulation, and was believed by the 
Governor as well as the Indians, which was that Gen. Logan, of 
Kentucky, had marched in considerable force to attack the Cher- 
okees, and was to be joined by Col. Whitley. The Governor, 
on the entreaties of Watts, made through the mediation of "The 
Hanging Maw," had appointed a conference at Tellico on the 7th 
and 8th of November, and he was fearful that these arrange- 
ments might be defeated by an untimely irruption into the Cher- 
okee country. He immediately dispatched an express to Col. 
Whitley, with copies of the correspondence which had lately 
taken place between him and Doublehead, and required of him 
in positive terms, together with the men who were under his 
command, to desist from the further prosecution of their design ; 
and that they should not enter with a hostile purpose the coun- 
try or lands guaranteed to the Cherokee nation by the treaty 
of Holston. On the same day he dispatched a letter to the 
Cherokee chiefs to apprise them of the information which he 
had received, and with the steps he had taken by way of pre- 
vention. Upon the receipt of these letters. Gen. Logan, if he 
had ever entertained the design imputed to him, desisted from 
it. Indeed, the Governor of Kentucky asserted that no such de- 
sign had ever been conceived. At the appointed time confer- 
ences were held at Tellico. Col. Watts declared his contrition 
for not adhering to the recommendations of " The Hanging Maw" 
to the people of the lower towns to be at peace ; that just before 
the destruction of the Kunning Water and Nickajack he had 
gone to them himself, as well as to the Lookout Mountain town, 
and used his exertions for the restoration of peace; and he verily 
believed that they had determined to be at peace. He would 
not say that Nickajack and the Running Water did not de- 
serve the chastisement they received, nevertheless it so exasper- 
ated those who escaped from the ruins that for a time he was 
forced to be silent himself. But "The Glass," he said, went to 
the Eunning Water people, and they told him, notwithstand- 
ing the injury they had sustained, they had not forgotten 

332 Haywood's history or Tennessee. 

Watts's peaceable recommendations, and desired that tlie latter 
might take measures for the recovery of their people who had 
been made prisoners. He had a confirmation of their sincerity 
through "The Bloody Fellow," who had been sent by him to as- 
certain it, and therefore he presented to the Governor a string 
of white beads as a true talk and public talk from the lower 
towns to his Excellency. He applied to " The Hanging Maw," 
or Scolacutta, then sitting by his side, as he remarked, for a 
witness of the fact, that the lower towns had instructed him 
(Col. Watts) to request Scolacutta not to throw them away, but 
to go with them to the Governor to present to him this talk on 
their behalf. By a prisoner whom Maj. Ore had taken, and 
who was sent back by Gen. Robertson, he said the general had 
requested him by letter to deliver up a white prisoner and a 
certain number of negroes, and that the prisoners taken by 
Maj. Ore should be restored to their nation. In this letter, 
said he, the general invited him to come with a flag; but as the 
woman who was the bearer of this letter was pursued by some 
bad people, and was obliged to quit her horse to save herself in 
the cane, although he knew Gen. Robertson to be a good man, 
he deemed it imprudent to go to him. He said there were no 
prisoners in Wills Town, the place of his residence; and he re- 
marked that the people of his town once took a man of great 
worth, Capt. Henly, and restored him without price. "The 
Hanging Maw" said the lower towns were once governed by 
him, but for some time had disregarded his admonitions till 
after the attack made upon them by Maj. Ore, and then they 
sent him to make peace for them. He imputed the calamities 
which had befallen them to their own misconduct, yet he so- 
licited peace for them, and hoped they had seen their folly. 
Gov. Blount accepted of the proposed friendship, and men- 
tioned the 18th of December as the time for a general exchange 
of prisoners and of all the property taken in war. He advised 
them to go out of the way should Gen. Logan enter their coun- 
try. He desired that they would not let the Creeks pass through 
their country, and told them of his expectation that if the 
Creeks should not refrain from further destruction of the 
people of the United States and their property the govern- 
ment next spring would send a powerful army into their coun- 
try. Watts said the Creeks were powerful, and that the lower 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 333 

towns dare not refuse them a passage, nor resent the injuries 
which they daily sustained in shooting down their hogs and 
cattle and stealing their horses. They all three smoked the 
pipe of peace with tobacco sent as a present by "The Long 

Gov. Blount offered to detail to Watts the particulars of Gen. 
Wayne's late victory, if he wished to be informed of them. 
Watts said he did not wish it, for some of his own people had 
been in the action, and had already informed him. 

Some time after the conferences, and about the 3d of Decem- 
ber, the Governor stated to "The Little Turkey" that with dif- 
ficulty Gen. Logan had been stopped; that he was very angry, 
and threatened the destruction of the lower towns if any more 
blood should be spilled; had he not been stopped, that his army, 
which consisted of two thousand well armed and mounted men, 
would have marched into their country with good pilots, well 
acquainted with it; but that he had no designs against the up- 
per towns. 

About the same time the Governor wrote to the chiefs of the 
Cherokees, and pressed them to come forward with their pris- 
oners to be exchanged at Tellico, and described to them what 
peace was and what it was not. " For one part of the nation to 
cry out ' It is peace ! ' and to send peace talks, while the young 
warriors are killing and stealing," said he, " is the most destruc- 
tive, oppressive, and distressing of all wars. Peace consists in 
one and all ceasing to kill the citizens of the United States, and 
ceasing to steal their horses." Though formerly the Governor 
dissembled a great deal of what he knew, he now unveiled him- 
self, spoke plainly, and kept back nothing. Conceiving himself 
able to enforce what he recommended, he convinced both him- 
self and them that he must be obeyed. This was a far better 
ground on which to found his expectations of success than he 
had ever stood on since he came to the Territory in a public 
character. His possession of it was unquestionably a conse- 
quence of the orders which Gen. Robertson had given for the 
late expedition against the lower towns, although not authorized 
by any higher power. For the love of his country he staked 
his reputation and his rank; but as fortune favors those who 
bravely dare, in the cause of virtue and of their country, so it 
favored him in this trial, completed the high opinion the people 

334 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

entertained ol: bis judgment and patriotism, gave peace to his 
exhausted country, and closed hei* bleeding veins. On the last 
of December a partial exchange of prisoners was made on both 
sides, and a future day was appointed for the completion of it. 
Such at this time were the appearances and evidences of sincer- 
ity, that for once peace was believed to exist between the Cher- 
okees and white people. Gov. Blount requested of the Chero- 
kees that the Chickasaws might be included in the peace. The 
Cherokee whom they killed, said he, was slain under the belief 
that the Cherokees had killed Piomingo. He insisted that the 
Creeks should not be permitted to pass through their country. 
" They must be stopped by force," said he, " if otherwise they 
cannot be prevented." He repeated that they must be at peace 
with tlie Chickasaws, and must forgive the offenses which they 
had committed. He stated to them that the people who de- 
stroyed Nickajack followed a trail into it, from a part of Cum- 
berland where recent hostilities had been enacted, and that two 
fresh scalps were found in the town. The people of Cumber- 
land, he informed them, were a part of the United States. The 
Governor detailed to them the situation of their people. Your 
nation is small, extended over a large tract of country — at least 
two hundred and fifty miles up and down the Tennessee, and 
upwards of one hundred miles to the south, to the waters of the 
Mobile, surrounded on all sides except one by the United States, 
and on that by the Creeks. The United States wish peace. 
You had better fight the Creeks than us, if war is indispen- 
sable; they have killed your cattle and your hogs before your 
faces, and stolen your horses, which you dared not to resent. 
They have killed and i"obbed the citizens of the United States 
resident on the Cumberland, without the least provocation or 
justification, for many years, and returned through your lower 
towns with scalps and horses ; and in these enormities have been 
aided by the young warriors of the Cherokee nation. If the 
foolish young men of the Cherokees will continue to do so, they 
must expect to take the fate of the Creeks. He advised them 
to contract their settlements, by which the chiefs would the 
more easily govern the refractory part of the nation. Those who 
remained behind might be considered as enemies, and might be 
abandoned to destruction. 

With respect to the Creeks, the tokens of peace were but lit- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 33.5 

tie, if at all, discernible. The Governor's opinion, as late as the 
10th of November, was that they would never cease to invade 
the Cumberland settlements "'till they shall have been destroyed^ 
Subsequent experience has shown that this sentiment was 
founded on the strictest accuracy. He said further that if he 
could have permission to do so, he would, with the Cherokees, 
ChickasawS; and Choctaws, break them up. "If the United 
States do not destroy the Creeks," said he, " they will continue 
to kill the citizens of the United States;" and at another time 
he said: "The Creeks must be destroyed by the arms of the 
United States, before they will desist from killing the people." 
And, indeed, when the motives of the Creeks for the war which 
they had now so long waged shall be considered, it will readily 
appear that no end was ever to be expected till the Creeks them- 
selves were exterminated. The government of the United States, 
convinced of this fact, would liave been justified in visiting them 
with all the scourges of war. 

The opinion had prevailed that McGillevray was a partner 
with Panton in trade, and had kept the Indians in a perpetual 
state of hostility to monopolize their custom, and in the course 
of this year this suspicion was greatly strengthened. McGillev- 
ray died, and Panton swept off all his property and carried it to 
Pensacola, to the exclusion of his friends and relations, who 
considered it a piece of injustice, and as countenanced by the 
Spanish government. The relations were incensed both against 
Panton and the Spaniards. The situation of McGillevray, how- 
ever, was not the prime but secondary immediate cause em- 
ployed by Spain to promote the more important purposes which 
she wished to accomplish. It made Panton and McGillevray 
faithful agents in the business committed to their charge, but 
the origin lay upon much deeper foundations. 

The internal legislation of the south-western territory was 
in. this year in a state of progressive preparation, and at length 
commenced their operations. The representatives in Congress 
had nominated five out of ten of those persons who had been se- 
lected by the Territorial House of Eepresentatives at their late 
nieeting, as those out of whom the Legislative Council should 
be taken; and the President, pursuant to that nomination, had 
appointed them: Gen. Griffith Ptutherford, Gen. John Sevier, 
Col. James Winchester, Col. Stokely Donalson, and Capt. Par- 
menas Taylor. 

336 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

On Monday, the 25th of August, 1794, the General Assembly 
of the Territory commenced their session at Knoxville. Gen. 
Kutherford was appointed President of the Legislative Council. 
On Monday, the 3d of September, the Legislative Council and 
members of the House of Representatives convened, and elected 
James White, Esq., of Davidson County, to represent the Ter- 
ritory in the Congress of the United States. They passed a law 
for the regulation of courts and law proceedings, and one for 
erecting the county of Sevier, by division of the county of Jef- 
ferson. They passed a law for the establishment of the town 
of Knoxville, which had been laid off by Col. James White in 
the year 1791. They declared the county of Sevier to be part 
of the District of Hamilton, and established two colleges — one 
in the vicinity of Knoxville, and one other in Greene County. 
They authorized the raising of money by lottery to discharge 
the cost of cutting and clearing a wagon road from South-west 
Point to the settlements on the Cumberland River, in the Dis- 
trict of Mero. They passed laws, making many other useful 
public provisions; nor did they forget again to lay their com- 
plaints against the Indians at the feet of Congress. They in- 
formed the Congress that since the 26th of February — the date 
of their last address — the Creeks and Cherokees had not ab- 
stained from the destruction of the lives and property of their 
citizens; and, in order to verify the assertion, they accompanied 
the memorial with a list of the names of citizens killed and 
wounded in the Territory since that time, amounting in number 
to one hundred and nine. Their names have been already men- 
tioned in this work. The Legislature further represented in 
their memorial that presents made to the Indians are viewed by 
them as evidences of fear on the part of the givers, or as a tribute 
paid to their superior prowess in war; and that such presents en- 
courage them to further slaughter of the exposed citizens of the 
frontiers. "Fear," they said, "and not love, is the only means 
by which Indians can be governed; and until they are made to 
feel the horrors of war they will not know the value of peace 
or observe the treaties they have made with the United States." 

The General Assembly, by a resolution of both branches, re- 
quested that a new census of the people should be made on the 
last Saturday of the month of July, in the year 1795; and that 
at the taking of the census the sense of the people should be 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 337 

ascertained upon the subject of their wish for admission into 
the Union as a State. 

The year 1794 closed upon the inhabitants of the Territory 
with a deep conviction that they enjoyed a less degree of protec- 
tion than the government ought to supply, and with a solemn 
murmur of discontent at the great losses they had sustained 
without compensation made by the government, and without 
liberty allowed them to procure compensation by the exertion of 
their own physical powers. But considering the feverish state 
of the world, the differences of the United States with Great 
Britain, their pending regulations with Spain, their war with 
the Algerines, and the great struggle the government had to 
maintain for the preservation of its neutral attitude, together 
with the insubordination and resistance to the government of 
some of the counties of Pennsylvania, the south-western peo- 
ple still judged it the wisest course to confide in the government 
and in the illustrious Chief Magistrate at the head of it, whose 
prudence and just discernment had now become throughout the 
world the theme of admiration and eulogy. 

Gen. Knox, previous to the resignation of his office as Secre- 
tary of War, delivered a report, on the 28th of December, upon 
the means of preserving peace with the Indians. It was laid 
by the President before Congress, with a hope that some means 
might be devised to preserve treaties and to afford protection to 
the frontiers. 


The Federal Constitution — The State Constitution — Persons Killed by the In- 
dians, 1790, 1791, 1792— The Desire of Plunder the Cause of the Creek War- 
Surveys Could Not Be Made — The Consequences Thereof — North Carolina Leg- 
islature Respecting the Vacant Lands of Tennessee — Their Laws Conformed 
to — The Governor Invites the Choctaws and Chickasaws to Meet Him at Nash- 
ville in August — Spaniards Prevented Some of tlie Clioctaws from Coming — 
Conferences at Nashville — Doublehead and His Party Complained of to the 
Chickasaws — The Chickasaw Boundaries — Post at Bear Creek Disrelished by 
the Chickasaws — The Spanish Conduct with the Creeks — Some Chiefs of the 
Cherokees Complain to the Baron de Carondalet — Wish the Settlers Removed 
from Cumberland — The Treaties Made by the Americans Not Fairly Explained 
to Them- -The Spaniards Get a Report of the Conferences at Nashville — The 
Partiality of the Americans for the French Displeasing to the Spaniards — En- 
couraged the Hostility of the Indians — John Watts Went to See Panton in the 
Cherokee Nation; and Thence to Pensacola — Panton and Partner Authorized 
by Spain to Trade with the Indians; Hence His Desire tliat the Indians Should 
Be at War with the United States — Their Letters to the Spanish Governor — 
The Cherokees Claim an Enlargement of Their Boundaries — Spanish Agent 
Arrives in the Creek Nation; Assumes the Direction of the Indians; Advised 
Them to Turn Out against the Americans — Intercourse between the Creeks and 
Spaniards at New Orleans — The Spaniards Recognize Them as Allies — Treat- 
ed Bowles Kindly — The Sincerity of McGil lev ray Suspected — Spaniards Incited 
tlie Indians to War, and Supplied Them with Articles to Carry It On — Prom- 
ised Them Assistance — Watts Returned from Pensacola — Stilus Up the Indians 
to War — Delivered Black Beads to Them — The Ciierokees Assembled to Hear 
His Report — Green Corn Dance — Powder, Ball, antl Arms Promised by the 
Spaniards — The Conversation of Gov. O'Neil — Supplies of Arms Promised, and 
of Ammunition — Watts Recommended the Spanish Proposals, and War with 
the Americans — The Bloody Fellow Opposes It — Debates of the Chiefs in 
Council on the War Proposed — Rendezvous Appointed by Watts — War Deter- 
mined on — War Dance — Plan of Conducting the War — Orders Given to Pre- 
pare for Marching — Arrival of Whisky Delayed Their Operations — Spies 
Sent to Cumberland — Agreed in the Council Tliat False Information Should 
Be Given to Gov. Blount — Watts Appointed to the Command of the Creeks 
and Cherokees — The Governor Could Not Draw from the Indian Chiefs the 
Proceedings at Pensacola — He Obtained Information That the Five Lower 
Towns Were for War, and Had Been Supplied with Ammunition by the Sjian- 
iards — The Governor Sent an E.xpress to Gen. Robertson — Information Given 
by the Indian Spies — The Militia Raised by Gen. Robertson— Letters to the 
Governor from "The Bloody Fellow" and Glass to Deceive Him — Ordered the 
Troops to Be Disbanded — Hanging Maw's Letter Undeceived Him — Recalled 
the Militia to Arms — The Troops Disbanded by Gen. Robertson before the 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 339 

Countermanding Orders Were Received — The Indians Were on Tlieir March; 
Arrived at Biiclianan's Station; Attacked It and Were Defeated — Retreated; 
Piirsueb by Gen. Robertson- — The Governor Reminds the Indians of tlie Span- 
ish Cruelties in Mexico — Wished to Be Informed of the Spanish Conferences 
at Pensacohx — Received no Satisfaction — Watts Meditates Another Invasion, 
but after Some Time Is for Peace — The Spaniards Recommend Peace to the 
Clierokees — Watts Sent Intercessors to the Governor — Tlie Great Sufferings of 
tlie Western People— Gov. Blount Vindicates Them — His History of the Cher- 
okees — The Lands in Cumberland Never Belonged to Them — Their Cessions 
in 1782 and in 1785 — The Creeks Have no Claim to the Cumberland Lands 
— The Exposed Situation of ilero District — The Measures of Defense Lately 
Taken Were Necessary — Gayoso Obtained Cessions, Held Treaties, and Got 
Permission to Build Forts, and the Cession of a Large Tract of Country — Gov. 
Blount Watched the Spaniards — Sent Douglass to Get Information — Corn Sent 
to the Chickasaws by Gen. Robertson — Expenses Complained of by the Gener- 
al Government — Conference with the Clierokees — Gen. Sevier's Brigade Dis- 
banded — Indians Kill the Inhabitants Near Nashville, and Rob Them and 
Steal Their Horses — Troops Ordered into Service — Others to Be Sent from 
Hamilton District — Bledsoe and Others Killed, and Other Outrages — Public 
Discontents — A Chickasaw Killed by Mistake — Rains and Johnson Scour the 
Woods, and Beard Came by the Heads of the Rivers toward the South; Fell 
in with Some Small Parties and Killed Some of Them — Persons Killed and 
Wounded between May and August, 1793— Castleman's Daring Attack — In- 
dians Pursued and Killed by Rains and Gordon— Indian Depredations, and 
Punishment of Them — Persons Killed by Them- — Snoddy Defeats a Large Par- 
ty; and in the Morning Was Attacked, and Defeated Them Again — Persons 
Wounded and Killed — The Indians Made Slaves of Their Captives — An Ex- 
pedition Planned against the Five Lower Towns of the Cherokees — Chicka- 
saws Quarrel with the Creeks, and Kill Some of Them — Address Gen. Robert- 
son — Piomingo Visits Gov. Blount — Corn Sent to Them by Gen. Robertson — 
Complained of by the Baron de Carondalet — Piomingo Visits the President — 
Claim of the Chickasaws to Lands in South Carolina — Reasons for Acting with 
]Mildness toward the Spaniards and Their Connections — ^Offense Taken by 
Gayoso at Expressions Said to Be Used by Gen. Robertson — Creeks Displeased 
with the Spaniards — Genet's Arrival; His Conduct Alarmed the Spaniards — 
They Applied to the Indians for Aid — War Determined on by the Chickasaws 
against the Creeks — Spirited Representation Made to the Ministers of Spain — 
The Spaniards Supplied the Cherokees in 1793 with Powder and Lead to Make 
a Descent upon Knoxville — The Spaniards Begin to Be Reconciled — Persons 
Wounded or Killed by the Indians — Troops Raised for the Protection of Mero 
District — The People Complained for Want of Protection — An Expedition 
Planned against Nickajack — Troops Assembled; Marched; and Killed Many 
of the Creek Warriors at Nickajack — The General Government Displeased at 
It — Indian Outrages — Troops Raised in 1794 for the Protection of Mero — 
Persons AVounded and Killed — Guarantees of Lands Remonstrate against the 
Cession Made to the Indians by the Treaty of Hopewell — Negotiations with 
Spain — Commissions Issued by Genet — The Spaniards Alarmed — The Inten- 
tions of Making a Descent upon the Spanish Possessions Defeated — Cliicka- 

340 Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 

saws Attended to — Visit the President— Proclamation in Their Favor — Treat- 
ed witli Kindness — Persons Killed and Wounded in 1795 — The Baron de Ca- 
rondalet's Letter to "The Mad Dog" — Remarks On It — Gavoso Builds a Fort 
on the Chickasaw Blufls — Gov. Blount's Letter to Him on the Subject — Col. 
Innis Sent to Kentucky to Explain the Steps Taken by the Government to Se- 
cure the Navigation of the Mississipi)i — -Very Satisfactory to the Western Peo- 
ple — Treaty with Spain — Chickasaws Attacked by the Creeks — Beat Them iu 
Two Battles — Tlie Creeks Make Peace with Them. 

THE year 1790 with the people of Cumberland was the epoch 
of much expectation, apprehension, and hope. The new 
Federal government was about to be extended over their coun- 
try. From its energies much was hoped and much was dreaded, 
and great was the attention bestowed on its primordial acts. 
At the same time a new territorial government was arising from 
the divested sovereignty of North Carolina, and how it was to 
affect the people or be relished by them was wholly problemat- 
ical. These were important novelties which do not occur but in 
the lapse of many ages, and which were to have a lasting influ- 
ence upon the condition of the people. A degree of anxiety 
was excited suitable to their magnitude, and in presence of 
these all other objects were of inferior moment. The Indians 
dealt out blows and death, but hope and fear on tiptoe turned 
from them to that grand exhibition which, riding on the billows 
of time, had just heaved into view. The savages themselves 
seemed not to be exempt from the general feelings, and to have 
stopped for a moment to catch the results of these modern ex- 
periments. Their operations were not as destructive in this 
year as formerly. They killed Alexander Neely near Greenfield, 
at the fort where Anthony Bledsoe had lived; also a young 
woman of the name of Norris, on Brown's Fork of Bed Biver, 
and wounded Blair and another. They killed at Mayfield's 
Station John Glen, who had married the widow Maylield, and 
they killed three persons at Brown's Station, a few miles from 
Nashville. They wounded John McBory, and caught and 
scalped three of Everett's children and killed John Everett. 
Hague erected a cotton-machine on Mill Creek, at which some 
persons were killed whose names are forgotten. Francis Arm- 
strong fell upon a party of Indians near Gantt's Station. They 
fled, and he regained five horses, and Col. Weakly killed one of 
the Indians who had come into the settlements to kill and plun- 
der. They sometimes met with the fate which they deserved, but 
more frequently escaped unhurt with their booty. 


In April, 1791, a negro man of Caf)t. Caffrey's was killed at 
work in the field. A great number of horses were now taken 
from the settlements, and particularly from Station Camp Creek, 
in Sumner County; some from the neighborhood of Nashville 
in May, and some again in June^ as likewise from Red River 
and Sumner County in the same month. In May they killed 
John Farris and his brother, of Lincoln County, Ky. ; on the 3d 
of May George Wilson, a young man in Sumner County, six 
miles from the court-house, on the public road to Nashville. 

On the 2d of June, 1791, they killed John Thompson in his 
own corn-field, within five miles of Nashville. On the 14th of 
June they killed John Gibson and wounded McMoon, in Gib- 
son's field, within eight miles of Nashville. They killed Benja- 
min Kirkendall in his own house, within two miles of Col. 
Winchester's, in Sumner County, and plundered his house of 
every thing that Indians could use. In June three travelers 
from Natchez to Nashville were found dead on the trace near 
the mouth of Duck River. There were eight in company, and 
only two came in. On the 3d of July Thomas Fletcher and two 
other men were killed on the north side of Cumberland, near 
the mouth of Red River. Their heads were entirely skinned. 
In the same month a man was killed within a hundred and fifty 
yards of Maj. Wilson's, on the public road, as he was riding up 
to the house. On the 12th Thomas White was killed on the 
Cumberland Mountain and on the Cumberland trace. The 
Creeks a few days afterward rode his horse through the Chero- 
kee Nation. On the 31st John Dixon was killed within a mile 
and a half of Col. Winchester's. 

On Monday, the 19th of January, 1792, the Indians killed 
Robert Sevier and William Sevier, sons of Valentine Sevier, 
who lived at the mouth of Red River, near the present site of 
Clai'ksville. They had gone to the relief of the distressed fam- 
ilies on the Cumberland River who had sent by express for as- 
sistance. The officers of Tennessee County could give none. A 
part of the crew was on shore getting provisions to be carried 
in boats to the sufferers. The boats were ahead of them when 
these young men discovered the enemy, whom they mistook for 
their own party, the Indians having been seen late in the even- 
ing a considerable distance from that place. Robert Sevier 
hailed them, who answered they were friends, with which an- 


swer being satisfied, he sailed on, and the Indians carelessly be- 
gan to chop with their hatchets till the young men in the boats 
got very near them. Robert said to the man who was with him 
in the boats: "These are not our friends; steer off." The In- 
dians then fired upon them. The man leaped out of the boat 
and left them in it about three rods distant from the shore. 
Before the 25th William was found and buried, but Robert met 
a party of twelve white men; pursued, but did not overtake the 
Indians. On the 16th of the same month Valentine, a third 
son of this unfortunate parent, also fell by the hands of the 
savages. He was in a boat ascending the river, and was fired 
upon and killed dead in it. Two others were wounded. One of 
them (John Eice) died, and both he and Valentine were buried 
about sixty miles below the mouth of Red River. Until Valen- 
tine fell, he and two others kept up so brisk a fire that they in- 
timidated the Indians and saved the crew. The attack on Rob- 
ert and William was about eighteen miles below the mouth of 
Red River, at the mouth of Blooming Grove Creek. The In- 
dians about this time had fired upon several boats, and had tak- 
en some of them, and the inhabitants in this j)art of the settle- 
ments exjDected a very hot war in the ensuing summer. The 
Indians who committed these outrages were supposed to be 
from New Madrid or Lans le Grace, where the hand of the 
Spaniards who pretended so much friendship was perceptible in 
almost all the injuries which the settlers received from the sav- 
ages. Deprived of all his sons who had come with him to Cum- 
berland in so short a time, the afflicted parent wrote to his 
brother, Gen. Sevier, to send to him his son John to come and 
see him; "as," said he, in the moving language of suffering in- 
nocence, "I have no other sons but small ones." 

On the 28th of January, 1792, Oliver Williams and Jason 
Thompson at night encamped on the road leading from Bled- 
soe's Station to the ford of Cumberland River, on the north side 
of the river, where they were fired upon by Indians and both 
wounded, and their horses and other articles were taken from 
them. They got back to the settlement much injured by the 
frost, snow then being on the ground. The horses were taken 
by eight Creeks, who were seen with them in the Cherokee 
country on their way to the Creek Nation. About the begin- 
ning of March, 1792, the Indians attacked the house of Mr. 


Thompson, witliiu seven miles of Nashville, killed and scalped 
the old man, his wife, his son, and a daughter, and made pris- 
oners Mrs. Caffrey, her son, a small boy, and Miss Tho.mpson. 
The Creeks saw two white men who came to a camp on a trace 
leading from the Choctaws to the Creeks, where the latter had 
with them as prisoners two white women and a child two years 
old. These white men were in company with some chiefs of 
the Chickasaws, and would have been killed by the Creeks but 
for the assurance of those chiefs that they were not citizens of 
the United States. On the 5th of March, 1792, twenty-five In- 
dians attacked Brown's Station, eight miles from Nashville, and 
killed four boys; on the 6th they burned Dunham's Station; on 
the 12th they killed McMurray on his own plantation, at the 
month of Stone's River; on the 5th of April they killed Mrs. 
Eadclijff and three children; on the 8th they killed Benjamin 
Williams and party, consisting of eight men, in the heart of the 
Cumberland settlements; on Station Camp Creek a boy was 
wounded in three places; at the same place two boys, sons of 
Robert Desha, were killed in the field in the day-time, near their 
father's house; and also Kirkendall, on the 16th of May, 1792, 
and a man on the 17th. So much did the dangers and distress- 
es of the Cumberland people increase and thicken upon them 
that Gov. Blount was obliged to order two more companies to 
their assistance, with orders to be in the Cumberland settle- 
ments on the 10th of June. On the 24th of May, 1792, Gen. 
Robertson and his son, Jonathan Robertson, were at or near 
Robertson's Lick, half a mile from his station, where they were 
fired upon by a party of Indians. The general was wounded in 
the arm, and thrown by his horse amongst the Indians. His 
son was wounded through the hip, but seeing the dangerous 
situation in which his father was, he dismounted, though so bad- 
ly wounded, and fired on them as they rushed toward his father. 
This checked them for a moment, and gave time to the general to 
get off, and both got safely into the station. On the 25th a boy 
was wounded near the general's, and died of his wounds on the 
6th of June; on Sunday, the 13th of May, a man and two girls 
were fired on by the Indians within four miles of Nashville. 
The man and one girl escaped ; the other was tomahawked by the 
Indians. On the 26th of June, 1792, Zeigler's Station, within 
two miles of Bledsoe's Lick, was attacked by a party of Indians, 

344 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

first in the afternoon and again by night. They killed five per- 
sons, burned one in the station, and wounded four others; three 
escaped unhiirt. 

Gov. Blount arrived at Nashville a few days before the 16th 
of July, 1792, and ordered three hundred militia into actual 
service, under the command of Maj. Sharpe, an old, experienced 
Continental officer, for the protection of the south-western front- 
iers, and to be posted at proper distances in well-built block- 
houses and stockade forts, which in a great measure relieved 
a,nd silenced the fears and complaints of the inhabitants. These 
posts were intended to be kept up so long as the danger existed. 
During this summer while one man worked another was obliged 
to stand sentinel, while one man went to the spring to drink 
another was obliged to guard him with a gun in his hands, at a 
convenient place. Some Cherokees came about this time to 
Nashville, to attend the ensuing conferences. They gave infor- 
mation that a large party of Creeks had passed the Tennessee, 
on their way to Nashville, to "take hair," as they called it, and 
to steal horses. On the 16th they had taken eleven horses, and 
had frequently fired on the inhabitants as they passed from one 
part of the district to another. They took seventeen horses 
after the Governor's arrival. 

After the treaty of Nashville, which ended on the 10th of Au- 
gust, 1792, Gov. Blount, without loss of time, repaired to Knox- 
ville, where he arrived a few days before the 25th of August. 

On the 31st of August an attack was made on John Birkley 
and his son, in his peach orchard near Bledsoe's Lick. The 
former was wounded, but bravely returned the fire and killed an 
Indian in the act of scalping his son. On the night of the 27th 
of August a party of fifteen Creeks put fire to Capt. Morgan's 
house, near the same place. The fire was extinguished and the 
party repulsed, by the aid of Capt. Lusk's company, stationed 
for the protection of the frontiers. On the preceding night the 
same parties opened the stables of James Douglass, and took 
his horses. The next day Samuel Wilson fell in with them, 
wounded one, put the party to flight, and regained the horses, a 
gun, and a bloody blanket. Shortly before the 11th of August, 
1792, the Indians killed a boy and Avounded a man near Bled- 
soe's Lick. 

Loud complaints began now to be made by the people of Mero. 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 345 

The treaty of New York in 1790, they alleged, had taught the 
defenseless inhabitants of Mero to hope for security; but they 
were permitted only for a short time to indulge in that hope. 
The Creeks had killed, scalped, captivated, and plundered the 
people of this district, as if they had received an annuity for so 
doing. What article of the treaty, it was asked, had they com- 
plied with? Had they run the line? No; and the nation at 
large had no thought of it. Had they delivered the white pris- 
oners or negroes? No; at least there were many whom they had 
not delivered, nor would deliver unless they were purchased. 
They considered white prisoners as property, and asked the 
price of a negro for the ransom of each. Mrs. Brown and Mrs. 
Mayfield had at that time (August, 1792) to lament sons in that 
situation. An opinion prevailed at this time, but too generally 
in the interior of the United States, that the robberies and 
butcheries committed by the Indians on the frontier settlers 
were provoked by intrusions upon the Indian lands. This opin- 
ion was certainly not correct with respect to the Creeks and 
Cherokees since the treaties of New York and Holston. The 
Creeks never had a claim to any lands within the south-western 
territory nor even north of the Tennessee. We have already 
examined the merits of the Cherokee claim to any lands on the 
waters of the Cumberland. Their behavior at the period we 
are now speaking of could only arise from a thirst of blood, 
provoked by exterritorial stimulants, together with the desire 
to make slaves of the frontier settlers, and the cupidity of gain 
to be acquired by the sales of stolen horses. In this year they 
attacked Hickman's Station. D. Castleman, Z. Martin, and 
others went to the Elk Kiver, and killed one or two Indians. 
On Saturday, the 6th of October, a company of travelers, on 
their way from Kentucky through the Territory, were fired upon 
in the wilderness. Two men were killed, and one said to be 
mortally wounded. The party which attacked this company 
consisted of fifty men, headed by the noted chief, Talotiskee. 
On Wednesday, the 3d of October, a party of Indians fired sev- 
eral guns on James McKory, on the north side of the Cumber- 
land. About the same time Benjamin Jocelyn had nearly or 
quite twenty guns fired at him. Neither of them were wounded. 
On the 7th of October Mr. Irvine was shot through the thigh 
on the road, about four miles from Nashville. On the same day, 

346 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

about two miles from that place, Thomas Thompson was fired 
at, but received no injury. On Monday, the 8th of October, 
William Stewart was killed, about six miles from Nashville, on 
the north side of the Cumberland. On the night of the same 
day the Indians burned Stump's distillery, on White's Creek, 
on the north side of the Cumberland. On the 9th of October a 
party of Indians went to Sycamore Creek, eighteen miles from 
Nashville, and burned the houses of James Frazier, Mr. Riley, 
and Maj. Coffield, a large quantity of corn, and shot down a 
number of hogs. They then proceeded to Bushy Creek, of Red 
River, where they burned the house of Obadiah Roberts, and 
took a number of horses. They were followed by a party of 
whites, who killed one of the Indians and regained the horses. 
On Friday, the 11th of October, the Indians fired on Mr. Sugg, 
on White's Creek, on the north side of the Cumberland, and 
took from him ten horses. On Sunday, the 14th of October, the 
Indians shot at John Cotton, on Station Camp. Seven balls 
passed through his clothes, none of which touched his skin. On 
the same day they fired at Francis Armstrong, on his plantation, 
four miles south of Nashville. During the time of these vio- 
lences there were stationed in the District of Mero, for its pro- 
tection, not only the troops raised there, but also three compa- 
nies from Washington District: Hugh Beard's, of mounted 
infantry, and the companies of Capts. Brown and Lusk. They 
were by no means chargeable with a lack of vigilance. The 
frontiers of these settlements were peculiarly vulnerable. Tliey 
were accessible on all sides, and covered with thick canebrakes, 
which precluded the pursuit of the Indians, and through the 
whole extent of the frontier sheltered them from discovery, 
while they were concerting mischief and waiting for opportuni- 
ties to perpetrate it. Lamentable as is this tale of woe, it is not 
yet ended. 

On the 23d and 24th of October James Mayberry and John 
White were killed and scalped on the Cumberland Mountain. 
They had been engaged to go express from Knoxville to the of- 
fice of the Surveyor-general at Nashville, for the purpose of carry- 
ing from thence to the office of the Secretary of State of North 
Carolina a number of military warrants and the Surveyor's re- 
turns, that grants might issue upon them within the time lim- 
ited by law. The Assembly of North Carolina, at their session 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 347 

coram enciiig on the '2d of November, 1789, and ending on the 
22d of December, gave further time for surveying lands entered 
in John Armstrong's office on military warrants and on pre- 
emption rights. They allowed three years, which expired on 
the 2d of November, 1792, but were understood by the people 
of Cumberland to expire on the 22d of December, 1792. It is 
easy to perceive from the view we have just taken of the state 
of affairs in all these three years that actual surveys could not 
be made at any considerable distance from Nashville but at the 
most imminent hazard of those who made them. And not be- 
ing able to make and return actual surveys, the surveyors took 
the warrants and entries made upon military warrants, and made 
out plats without ever seeing the lands, and returned them to 
the Secretary's office in great numbers, and grants issued upon 
them. For this reason it is that the Judges of Tennessee, with 
respect to these grants at least, will not receive the plats and 
water-courses laid down in it as locative evidence in controver- 
sies concerning boundary. Frequently of late new entries and 
surveys have been made of the same lands, in the present and 
late land offices, and the surveyors have been summoned to de- 
clare on oath where are the boundaries which they actually 
made; but the courts have excused them from answering such 
questions, as tending to implicate them either in a breach of 
duty or of the promissory oaths of office, taken previously to its 
exercise. The courts, very laudably, have been ingenious in 
support of these grants, and have by a series of judicial decis- 
ions sanctioned actual surveys made after opening the new of- 
fices, with demarkation of lines, so as to give notice in time to 
subsequent enterers of the real locality of the lands claimed un- 
der these grants, provided the survey be such as might have 
been made by the original surveyor in point of form and loca- 
tion. Many legal controversies have been raised upon the 
foundation of a supposed defect in those grants; but hitherto 
they have maintained their ground, and the honest purchasers 
have not yet been obliged to lose them for want of actual sur- 
veys, if surveys have been since made and have identified the 
lands. The Assembly of North Carolina, by virtue of the pow- 
ers reserved in the cession act, which enabled the Governor to 
complete titles not yet perfected upon entries and rights of pre- 
emption, and upon all entries in John Armstrong's office on 


which grants were not perfected, and upon all other rights 
granted by law, continued to legislate upon the subject of va- 
cant lands within the ceded territory, and upon the mode of sat- 
isfying claims to lands under North Caroliua in the same man- 
ner as if the cession act had never passed; and all the laws of 
North Carolina upon this subject were conformed to and con- 
firmed by the western people. But let us return to the melan- 
choly story which we left. 

On the 7th of December, 1792, a party of cavalry in service 
for the protection of the District of Mero, about eight miles from 
Nashville, were fired upon by about twenty Indians, who put 
them to flight and killed John Hankins, who was scalped aud his 
body much mangled. The Indians stole horses in this dis- 
trict without intermission through all the month of Decem- 
ber, 1792. 

On the 29th of December John Haggard was killed and scalped 
about six miles from Nashville. Twelve balls were shot into him. 
His wife was killed by the Indians in the summer, and he left 
five small children in poverty and wretchedness. 

Gov. Blount, not unmindful of the instructions he had re- 
ceived from the President to engage the Cherokees, Choctaws, 
and Chickasaws to co-operate with the United States in their 
war against the Northwards, as they were then called, and hav- 
ing so far felt the pulse of the Cherokees as to discover that the 
application to them would not be successful, dropped the sub- 
ject with them entirely. But in the spring of 1792 he wrote to 
the Choctaws aud Chickasaws to meet him at Nashville on the 
15th of June, that he might deliver the presents he had for 
them and that they and himself might shake hands aud drink 
and smoke together. " Because these things," said he, " serve 
to make people and nations love each other." And he desired 
not only that the principal chiefs might attend, but also the 
young warriors, for he wished to become acquainted with them. 
Mr. James A. Robertson and Mr. Anthony Foster were sent with 
his letters to these nations. They were made acquainted with 
the objects of the intended meeting, but were instructed care- 
fully to avoid mentioning what they were, and to talk in such 
way as to induce in the yoiing warriors a wish to join the United 
States, and, should the proposal be made by them, to encourage 
it. The Governor, on the 27th of April, had written to Piomin- 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 349 

go, great chief of the Chickasaws, in very friendly terms. He 
had, for the sake of Piomingo, he said, and of his Nation, lately 
received and treated with attention four of the Chickasaws; and 
when Piomingo should be on his way to visit the President, the 
Governor invited him to call at Knoxville to rest himself and to 
accept of the necessary supplies for himself and his friends. He 
was pained to hear that Gov. St. Clair had not treated the chief 
as well as had been expected; but he hoped, notwithstanding, 
that Piomingo and his people would again join ,the United 
States, in which case they would now receive very difPerent 
treatment. Prom the representations of Gen. Robertson he (the 
Governor) entertained a high sense of the great worth of the 
chief and of his people. Whatever Mr. Foster aud Mr. Robert- 
son might say respecting the personal regard of the Governor 
for him and his people he desired the chief to believe. In his 
public address to them he stated that he loved them and would 
be happy to give proofs of his friendship. And further, he 
stated toward the end of his address, both to the Choctaws and 
Chickasaws, that if any of their young warriors thirsted for 
military fame, he begged they might be indulged in joining the 
troops of the United States at Fort Washington. Such, he 
added, would be well fed and well paid. Mr. Foster, on his re- 
turn, attributed to Spanish interference the failure of some of 
the Choctaw chiefs to attend the conferences at Nashville. 

The conferences with the Choctaws and Chickasaws at Nash- 
ville began on the 7th and ended on the 10th of August, 1792. 
Gov. Blount and Gen. Pickens attended. There were present 
some chiefs of the Choctaws and two or three from the Chero- 
kees, with about twenty other Cherokees. The valuable o-oods 
sent to them Gov. Blount represented as proofs of the friend- 
ship of the United States toward them. One other object of the 
treaty, he said, was to present thanks to Piomingo and the Col- 
berts and their followers, who had joined the army of the United 
States last summer against their enemies. He accordingly did 
present them hearty and sincere thanks for their services- also 
to each of them a rifle. "The United States," he continued "do 
not want your lands; they do not want the lands of any red peo- 
ple; they have lands enough. Gen. Washington, the greatest of 
all men, will soon afford you a trade from the mouth of Bear 
Creek. The United States had not been able hitherto to attend 

350 Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 

to that business, but would soon be at leisure to do so. He 
next represented to them that Doublehead, a Cherokee, with 
forty other Indians of different tribes, had lately settled on the 
south side of the Tennessee, near the mouth, on the lands of the 
Chickasaws, and had there killed citizens of the United States. 
He must be driven off, or the Chickasaws must give leave to the 
United States to drive him away. He desired that the lands 
and divisional lines of the red people might be designated, that 
it may be known to what nation any party of Indians belonged 
who may kill or plunder the citizens of the United States. The 
first chief who replied expressed great satisfaction that no trans- 
fer of lands had been mentioned. Piomingo described the 
Chickasaw boundaries: "Beginning on the Ohio where is the 
ridge which divides the waters of the Tennessee and Cumber- 
land, and with that ridge eastwardly as far as the most eastern 
waters of Elk River; thence to the Tennessee at an Indian old 
field, where a part of the Chickasaw nation formerly lived, this 
line to be run so as to include all the wat,ers of Elk River; thence 
across the Tennessee and a neck of land to Tenehuounda Creek, 
a southern branch of the Tennessee, and up the creek to its 
source; thence to the waters of the Tombigbee; thence to the 
west fork of Longleaf Pine Creek, and down it to the line of the 
Choctaws and Chickasaws." He wished to know whether the 
Cherokees at the treaty of Holston had claimed the whole of 
Duck River. He stated his boundaries, he said, to the end that 
the whites might not take the territory within them from the 
Chickasaws, supposing them to belong to the Cherokees, who are 
often killing and plundering them; for which, at some time or 
other, the whites will take away their lands. " It is desired," 
said Gov. Blount, "that the United States may know to whom 
to apply for redress of injuries." Gen. Pickens said to the 
Chickasaws: "We shall look upon it that your enemies are ours 
and ours yours; as you are now obliged to travel to Nashville 
to trade, and the path is long and oftentimes stained with blood, 
we wish for your accommodation and safety .that a trading post 
be established at the mouth of Bear Creek, as agreed on by the 
treaty of Hopewell." They did not relish this proposal. One of 
them said the white people wore hard shoes, and might tread 
upon their toes. Gov. Blount then told them that the President 
would not proceed for some time to establish the post at the 


mouth of Bear Creek. The Cherokees, he said, claimed the mouth 
of Bear Creek, and were unwilling that a post should be estab- 
lished there. The Chickasaws averred that those lands did not 
belong to the Cherokees, and claimed the lands between Duck 
River and the Tennessee. The contemplated proposal to join 
the standard of the United States was not publicly made, no 
letter upon that subject having been received from Gen. Wayne, 
by Avhose instructions upon this article the commissioners were 
to be governed; but Gen. Pickens ascertained in private confer- 
ences that the aid of these nations was attainable. 

All this time the Spanish officers affected the most perfect 
friendship for the people of Cumberland. Gen. Eobertsou had 
for some time kept up a correspondence with Mr. Portell, the 
commandant at New Madrid; and on the 7th of May, 1792, re- 
ceived from him assurances that he neither had been nor would 
be concerned in encouraging the Indians to commit depreda- 
tions and murders on the people of Cumberland. On the con- 
trary, his feelings revolted at them, and he considered himself 
bound by the principles of humanity, and by the duty he owed 
to mankind in general, to discountenance and repress such 
atrocity by all the means in his power. We shall presently see 
the course they were taking at this very time with the Creeks, 
and the means they employed to make the Cherokees dissatis- 
fied, and to hope from them a redress of the wrongs which they 
pretended to have suffered. Certain chiefs of the Cherokee 
nation, in the name of the whole nation, transmitted a written 
remonstrance to the Baron de Carondalet, which purports to be 
an answer to the message by the persons whom he sent to their 
nation. It complains of the unjust occupation of their lands by 
the Americans; that the treaty of Hopewell was not by their 
free consent, for these lands were settled before their consent 
was asked; and because of the fraudulent means used by them 
in the usurpation of their lands the nation insisted upon their 
ancient limits as' agreed on with the Britisli Government. They 
prayed of the baron to use his best efforts with the King of 
Spain for the accomplishment of these ends, and at all events 
for the removal of the settlements at Cumberland, without 
which the Cherokees and Talapuches would never be satisfied. 
Cumberland, they said, was settled by a certain Robertson, who, 
with his companions coming thither secretly, had taken posses- 

852 Haywood's history of Tennessee 

sion; and as to the trades tliey had with the Americans, in which 
any lands were ceded, they declared that the same were not cor- 
rectly explained to them. Robertson, they said, and his asso- 
ciates w^ere the cause of all the blood which had been spilled; 
this settlement, if taken away, would leave the Cherokees rec- 
onciled; and they declare that the solicitude they feel is not the 
effect of pique or caprice. They promise to attend to his friend- 
ly counsels, and to be at peace if possible; but if not, he must 
excuse them because of their oppression. For hearing such 
complaints from people residing confessedly on the territories 
of the United States, it was not possible for the Spaniard to of- 
fer an excuse; it was a gross violation of the rights of the United 
States, and an act of the most unfriendly complexion. The con- 
ferences at Nashville were nothing to them, yet they took care 
immediately to have a report made of what passed there in a 
style suitable to the temper of the reporter and to their own 
dispositions. It was made by Ugulayacabe, a Cherokee who 
had been to Orleans, and came from thence by way of his own 
home in the Cherokee Nation to the conference at Nashville. 
He was teased, he said, by two Americans to do so, and with it 
wished to see whether Piomiugo had ceded lands to the Amer- 
icans. Gov. Blount caressed him, and wished to establish a 
post at Bear Creek, to which he refused to consent. He stated 
that he said to the Governor that the Spaniards were his friends; 
that they supplied him with what goods he wanted, of which the 
Governor might be satisfied by the clothes which he (the In- 
dian) was then dressed in, upon which the Governor grew peev- 
ish, but after some time asked him if he would assist the Amer- 
icans in case they should have war with the whites, to which 
he answered that he would preserve a state of neutrality, but 
would never suffer the American settlements to be advanced 
further than they now were. He said that the Governor gave 
him a great coat and a hat which was too small for his head, 
and so he gave it to his son who was going to get married. The 
Americans, he said, gave about a dozen cart-loads of goods to 
the Indians, of the value, as they told him, of five thousand dol- 
lars; that the Governor had little ammunition, no axes, mattocks, 
nor hatchets; some guns, much whisky, victuals in abundance, 
meat at pleasure. There is a vein of satire in all this which 
would not have been spoken of a friend to his friend, nor would 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 353 

tlio latter have relished or received it. The Indian, having been 
at Orleans, knew what was acceptable there, and framed his re- 
port accordingly. Early in this year the Spanish nation began 
to foresee that ere long it would be confederated with the En- 
glish and other European powers in their war against France. 
The people of the United States had on every occasion made 
demonstrations of joy through all parts of the Union on the 
news received of French successes. Many of the Americans 
were so imprudent as to urge the policy, and also the obligation 
of duty we were under, to unite our arms with those of the 
French for the support of their liberties, as they had done for 
ours in the late war of the revolution. It began to be taken al- 
most for granted by the belligerents of Europe, and by those 
who were on the eve of becoming so, that the United States 
would be ranged on the side of the French. The Spaniards 
therefore lost no time in following the dictates of their favorite 
policy toward us in making the people of the south-western ter- 
ritory feel and appreciate the evils of war. 

The war of the northern Indians was now at its height. They 
were backed and supported by the English, and had lately given 
to our army a signal defeat. John Watts, after being present 
at Coyatee in May, with a great many other Indians, to confer 
with Gov. Blount, whom they treated with the highest distinc- 
tion, and to whom they made professions of the most profound 
friendship, left that place on the 25th of May, and proceeded with 
other Indians to Toquo, distant fifteen miles from Coyatee. 
There a letter was handed to Watts, written by a Mr. Panton, a 
merchant of great business, then in the Cherokee Nation, and 
addressed to both Watts and "The Bloody Fellow." It was 
written from the house of Mr. McDonald, a Scotchman, and an 
old resident in the Cherokee Nation, and in the late war a dep- 
uty under Col. Brown, who succeeded Col. Stewart in the super- 
intendency of the nation. This letter Mr. McDonald forwarded 
to Watts by an Indian runner. In it he, in the name of Gov. 
Oneil, invited Watts and " The Bloody Fellow " to come to Pen- 
sacola with ten pack-horses, stating that there they should have 
from Gov. Oneil arms and ammunition as many and as much as 
they wanted ; and that Panton himself would supply their nation 
with goods in abundance. Panton, from the house of McDonald, 
visited " The Little Turkey," and staid with him several days, Mc- 

354 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

Donald acting as the interpreter between them. Panton invited 
"The Little Turkey" to visit Gov. Oneil, who would give him 
arms and ammunition at Pensacola. He said that Mr. McDon- 
ald would accompany him on his journey, and that he (Panton) 
would supply goods to the nation cheaper than they had hereto- 
fore jjurcliased them; that the Creeks had agreed that the Span- 
iards might erect a fort at the Alabama fork, a mile below Mr. 
McGillevray's hoU|Se, for the protection of the Creeks and Cher- 
okees, where arms and ammunition would be kept for them 
both. This Alabama fork is the place where the French once 
had a fort, to and from which there is water sufficient for large 
boats to pass up and down from thence to Mobile. Panton was 
described in a letter from Gov. Blount to the Secretary of War 
to have been a British subject and a Scotch refugee from Geor- 
gia in the early part of the American Be volution, and was in 
the year 1792 and for a long time befoie and afterward a resi- 
dent of Pensacola; and was in the time of the E-evolutiouary 
War the particular friend and agent of Col. Brown, who suc- 
ceeded Col. Stewart in the superiutendency of the four southern 
nations of Indians. Through his hands passed the goods, gen- 
erally, which the superintendents disposed of in presejits to 
these nations. Besides, he supplied the nations generally with 
such goods as they purchased. He was also agent for tlie offi- 
cers of Brown's regiment of Florida Bangers, of whom sev- 
eral were as high in rank as captain. In other words, from the 
time Col. Brown was appointed Superintendent to the close of 
the war, the goods, generally, with which the four southern na- 
nations were supplied, whether presents from the British crown 
(which were very liberal) or by purchases, passed to them 
through him or his connections stationed at convenient places 
in the Florid as. 

Immediately after the peace Panton, with others, of whom 
McGillevray is said to have been one, and Mr. Clutokey (a 
Scotch refugee) another, obtained permission from the Spanish 
government to import into the Floridas, directly from England, 
goods sufficient to continue their suj^plies to these nations. His 
annual im]3orts were estimated at £40,000 sterling, upon which 
was paid a duty of 28 per cent. This permission from the Span- 
ish government enabled him to support his consequence and 
the influence which he acquired under Brown's superiutendency, 


and to use iDotli as they indulged his inclinations or served his 
interest. It is not to be supposed that his inclinations would 
lead him to good offices toward the United States; nor was it' 
his interest that a free trade and uninterrupted intercourse 
should be kept up between these tribes and the United States; 
for it was a well-known fact, after the treaties of Hopewell and 
the Holston with the Creeks and Cherokees, that he had been 
undersold in every part of the frontiers, where the transporta- 
tion had been by land from Philadelphia. After these treaties, 
the Cherokees generally, and a part of the Creeks, have been 
sui3plied by the United States; but the greater part of the Creeks 
and the Chickasaws and Choctaws continued, generally, to be 
supplied by Panton, and he had an unlimited influence over 

Shortly after the receipt of the letter before mentioned by 
Watts at Toquo, he and " The Bloody Fellow " went together to 
the house of McDonald, and staid there a night and a day. Mc- 
Donald wrote a letter to Gov. Oneil, commending in high terms 
both Watts and his uncle, Talotiskee. He also wrote one in the 
name of " The Bloody Fellow " to Gov. Oneil, in which it was 
stated that he had been to see the President, and was well re- 
ceived, but could not get his lands. He was glad to hear that 
the Spaniards would sui:)ply the India-ns with arms and ammu- 
nition, and would help them to recover their lands. He had 
been blind, but now saw. He would let go the hands of the 
United States, and would take fast hold of the Spaniards. He 
requested that the Governor would not permit Watts to return 
without plenty of arms and ammunition; and that himself, "The 
Turkey," and some other chiefs would come down with Mr. Mc- 
Donald some time hence to visit him. 

" The Bloody Fellow " then accompanied' Watts to the cross- 
ing of the Coosa Biver, encamped with him all nighty and re- 
turned. Watts and his companions went on their way to Pen- 
sacola, with ten pack-horses. 

About the last of June the national council of the Cherokees 
was about to sit at Estanaula, by appointment made at the con- 
ference at Coyatee, at the request of "The Bloody Fellow," to 
receive his report touching the business he had been on to Phil- 
adelphia, and to hear the big book read which he had brought 
from the war office. "The Bloody Fellow" did not attend at 

356 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

the council, and made several flimsy excuses for liis failure. 
The true cause was the letter he had received from Panton, and 
his subsequent communications. At Coyatee he was the warm 
partisan of the United States, as was also his friend Watts. 

The demand of "The Little Turkey," contained in his speech 
in the council in June, was that the ridge between the Cumber- 
land and Green Rivers should be the line between the Indians 
and the white people. " The Jobber's " son, sitting at a short 
distance, observed to those around him in a low voice that it was 
now too late to talk of that line, for they had established a dif- 
ferent one at the treaty of Holston. It was replied to by an 
Indian near. him: "We had then no friends to back us; now we 
have." This was a new notion, never before taken up till they 
had seen Panton, who, it is manifest from these speeches and 
remarks, had promised them assistance in the recovery of their 
lands as far as to that line, and had prepared them to make the 
reclamation by war. 

About the last of June a Spanish agent or resident commis- 
sary arrived in the Creek Nation from New Orleans, and lived 
in a house of Gen. McGillevray, on the Little Talassee. His 
name was Olivier. He was a Frenchman, and a captain in the 
Spanish army, wearing the uniform of the regiment of Lewis. 
He was sent by the immediate order of the Baron de Caronda- 
let. Governor at New Orleans, to conduct affairs in the Creek 
Nation. His arrival was supposed to be in consequence of a 
preconcerted plan between McGillevray and the Spaniards, on 
his visit in the last winter to their possessions, and that Capt. 
Olivier was to succeed him in the Creek Nation. McGillevray 
himself, not long afterward, went to New Orleans, and he en- 
gaged to attend the Spanish treaty with the Indians at Pensa- 
cola in September. Upon the arrival of Olivier, McGillevray 
took much pains in sending for a number of the chiefs, and in 
introducing Olivier to them as their great friend, who was come 
to live amongst them, and was to do very useful things for 

As soon as McGillevray had left the nation, Olivier began to 
call meetings of the towns, and to direct what the Indians 
should or should not do. He publicly and positively forbade 
the Indians to part with a foot of land to the United States, and 
also forbade their running the boundary line between them and 

Haywood's histoey of Tennessee. 357 

Georgia as stipulated by the treaty at New York, and positively 
enjoined it uj)on them not to have any thing to do with the 
Americans. Such conversations were often repeated, and in the 
upper towns there leaked from him the advice to the Indians to 
turn out against our people on the western waters. He had a 
quantity of goods at Gen. McGillevray's house, which he dis- 
tributed among the Indians. He drew orders on the govern- 
ment in favor of all Indians going to Orleans, who received goods 
and ammunition, which they brought up in boats; and in this 
way they carried on a constant intercourse with the Spaniards 
at New Orleans. He used his efforts to engage the chiefs to at- 
tend the treaty at Pensacola, which was much talked of in the 
nation. One object of the treaty, it was said, would be to ob- 
tain leave to erect forts and establish garrisons in the Creek 

When the Spanish government was complained to some time 
afterward, by the United States, of this conduct of the Baron 
de Caroudalet, the answer finally given by their minister (Mr. 
Gardoqui) was that the Spaniards had made a treaty with the 
Creeks in the year 1784, in which they acknowledged his Catho- 
lic Majesty for their only sovereign protector. In consequence 
of this treaty he said it became the duty of the Governor of 
West Florida to take measures for insuring the observance of 
the compact, by naming a person who might reside among them 
for the purpose of keeping them in peace, and who might equal- 
ly take care to counterwork the designs of some who have en- 
deavored to separate them from their alliance with Spain. The 
excuse itself was a provoking acknowledgment of the injury 
they had done us in meddling with the Indians within our lim- 
its; taking them under their protection, against all the usages 
and laws which had ever prevailed upon the subject; treating 
them as their allies, and sending to reside upon our terri- 
tories commissioners of their own appointment, to keep them 
steady to their conventions with the Spanish government. The 
Spaniards had got possession of Bowles to punish him, as they 
pretended, for his conduct among the Seminoles; but, against 
their usual practice toward State prisoners, they treated him 
with great kindness. He was not even confined by them. He 
was sent to Spain, but not in confinement. The Governor of 
New Orleans could have inflicted punishment had he been in- 


clined. The sincerity of McGillevray, in his professions of 
friendship, was now greatly suspected, and it was believed that 
he was deeply concerned in some scheme very pernicious to the 
people of the south-western territory, and that his coadjutors 
were the Spanish and English nations. From very recent and 
authentic information, it was now considered by those officers 
who corresponded with the government of the United States on 
Indian affairs to the southward that the Spaniards would, if pos- 
sible, involve the United States in war with the four southern 
nations of Indians, and that they were making every exertion 
and taking every undue means to stir them up against us. 

As early as the 13th of July, 1792, the Creeks were not only 
advised by the Spanish officers not to run the line between them 
and Georgia, but to come down to a meeting at Pensacola and 
Mobile, where the Spaniards would call the four southern na- 
tions together, and would furnish them with arms, ammunition, 
and all other implemeaits of war; when they were to lie still till 
encroachments were made upon their lands, and then to defend 
themselves, and the Spaniards would be at their backs. 

John Watts and his uncle returned from Pensacola to Wills 
Town in the latter part of August. The brother of *'The Drag- 
ging Canoe," whom the late council at Estanaula had consti- 
tuted the successor to his brother's honors and command, came 
to Estanaula, and made known his expectation that some of the 
Northwards would shortly be in the nation. Al)out an hour 
after this he took to one side the warrior's son, "The Standing 
Turkey," a half-breed, and also "The Big Fellow," and delivered 
them a talk from Watts, the purport of which was that they 
must attend at Wills Town in eight nights, and to pay no man- 
ner of attention to the talks of the old chiefs; that they were 
not to assist the old chiefs in the restitution of horses, or of any 
other property taken from the United States; that the day was 
just at hand when a blow would be' stricken; that AVatts had 
been at Pensacola, had seen Gov. Oneil, and that all things 
were accommodated to his wishes; that the matters intended 
would be fully explained on their arrival at Wills Town. He 
delivered to them a string of black beads of four strands. Black 
is the color indicative of war. 

The Cherokees assembled from all parts of the Nation at 
Wills Town, to hear Watts's report from Pensacola, and at 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 350 

the "green corn dance," wliicli was at tlie same tiiuo there to 
be holden. 

Watts commenced his report by causing a letter to be read 
which Gov. Oneil had written by him to the chiefs. It stated 
that his master, the King or Spain, had sent to his care at Pen- 
sacola arms and ammunition in abundance, for the use of the 
four southern nations, which he had divided into four separate 
warehouses; that Watts had been an eye-witness of the quantity 
he had of powder, lead, and arms; that he had sent some by 
Watts for the Cherokees; that the King of Spain had made a 
greater man of McGillevray than Congress did; that he would 
be at Pensacola by the middle of October, when, if the whole 
of the towns would come down, they should -be supplied, each 
town, with from four to five hundred pounds weight of powder, 
and more if necessary, and lead accordingly, and arms; that he 
would have plenty of provisions for their support while with him; 
and he recommended Mr. McDonald and Alexander Campbell, 
their old friends, to their particular notice and protection. 

The letter being read. Watts then informed them wdiat Gov. 
Oneil had said to him. The Governor received him, he said, 
with open arms; asked him if he had seen any Spanish settlers 
before he arrived at Pensacola, and assured him that the Span- 
iards never wanted a back country. Wherever they landed they 
sat down; even such a sand bank as this was sufficient. They 
were not like the Americans — first take your lands, then treat 
with you, and give you little or nothing for them. This was the 
way they had always served them, and from time to time killed 
some of their people. In the late war between Great Britain 
and the United States the Spaniards assisted them and lent them 
money, and they owed the Spaniards a great deal. But, instead 
of paying us what they owe, they take our lands, as well as 
yours. That the king, his master, had sent on powder, lead, 
and arms for the four southern nations in abundance, and then 
was the time for them to join quickly in war against the 
United States, while they were engaged in the war against the 
northern tribes. If they did not, that the United States, after 
conquering the northern tribes, would be upon them and cut 
them off; that the talks which one part of the nation had re- 
ceived, who had been to visit the President, were not sincere; 
that, beside guns and ammunition, they should be furnished 


with swords, caps, pistols, bridles, and saddles for horsemen; 
that the King of Spain had ordered a fort to be built at Alabama 
Fork, within a mile of Mr. McGillevray's house, to which the 
Creeks had agreed, where would always be a magazine of arms 
and ammunition, both for Creeks and Cherokees, and that a 
magazine should be erected for the use of the Cherokees at 
Wills Town. 

He then addressed the audience, and stated to them his opin- 
ion that the Spanish i3roposals were far preferable and more 
beneficial to the nation than those contained in the reports from 
all other quarters. The young fellows, said he, were always 
wanting to go to war, and the time was now come when they 
must try themselves. "There are enough of us," said he; "and 
if not, we have friends enough to back us of Creeks and Choc- 
taws, and our old friends the Spaniards. This," he continued, 
"is what Gov. Oneil told me. This is the truth, and you may 
depend upon it. I have seen him and talked to him myself. 
You must not show yourselves. All you young men who like 
war go with me. To-morrow we will have a great many more 
men, and we will settle matters better when we all get to- 

Watts sat down, and "The Bloody Fellow" followed him. He 
stood, while speaking, in the center of the council. He dis- 
suaded them from w^ar. It was a bad step they were taking. 
He said that he had been to hunt for the brothers that they 
thought were dead, and that he found them. They were good 
people, the same as ever. They did not wish to hurt the Cher- 
okees or their children. "Look," said he, "' at the presents I re- 
ceive for myself, and likewise for your warriors. When was the 
day you went to your father and brought from him as much? I 
did not go alone; others went with me. If I had gone alone, 
perhaps you might have said that I had made this story myself. 
You had better take my talk, and stay at home and mind your 
women and children." 

"The Bloody Fellow" still standing, Talotiskee arose and 
said: "I too liave been at Pensacola, and saw the Governor as 
well as Watts, and heard his talk. I think a great deal of it. I 
shall try to do as he directed me." 

He then sat down, and "The Bloody Fellow" proceeded: 
"Look," said he, "at that flag. Do you see the stars in it? 


Tliey are not towns, but nations. There are thirteen of them. 
They are people who are very strong, and we are the same as 
one man. If you know when you are well, a'ou had better stay 
at home and mind your women and children." 

"The Bloody Fellow" still standing, John Watts again arose, 
and coming forward, said: "The day is come when I mast again 
imbrue my hands in blood. To-morrow I shall send off a runner 
to the Creek Nation to bring on my friends. Then I shall have 
people enough to go with me to Cumberland, or any place that 
I want to go." 

They all dispersed for half an hour, and then returned stripped 
to the flap, painted black, dancing the war-dance on the square 
around the flag of the United States, and continued to dauce un- 
til the evening. At night they went to the toM^D house and con- 
tinued the war-dance all night. At a meeting on a subsequent 
day "The Bloody Fellow" again opposed the war, and referred 
to his visit lately made to the President, and to the donations 
he had received from him for himself and others of the nation. 
"I would wish," said he, "none of you to go to war, but to stay 
at home in peace, as I intend to do myself. I can go over the 
mountains and live in peace." Watts pulled off his medal, 
which "The Bloody Fellow" had glanced at, and laid it on the 

"The Bloody Fellow" still standing on the block, the son of 
"The White Owl" arose. "My father," said he, "was a man, and 
I am as good as he was for war. I will go and spill blood, in 
spite of what you can say. From this day out I will do as I 
please." John Watts got up and took him by the hand, and, 
leaning forw^ard, said to him: "You are a man. I like your talk. 
To war we will go together." 

"The Bloody Fellow" proceeded: "You had better not go, 
for you know nothing of what you are going to do." 

"The Bloody Fellow" still standing, the Shawnee warrior 
arose. He had lived for years past on "The Running Water," 
with about thirty other Shawnees. He advanced and said, 
stretching out his hands: "With these hands I have taken the 
lives of three hundred men; the time is come when they shall 
take the lives of three hundred more. Then I will be satisfied, 
and sit down in peace. I will now drink my fill of blood." 

"The Bloody Fellow," having sat down, rose, and said: "If 

362 Haywood's histoey or Tennessee. 

you will go to war, I shall not," and sat down apparently much 
dejected and displeased. 

John Watts said: "To-morrow you must repair to the Look- 
out Mountain town, where we will assemble together and lay off 
how we will attack the frontiers of Holston;" upon which the 
council generally rose, declaring that they would join Watts in 
the war. And they dispersed for half an hour, at the end of 
which four or five hundred returned to the square stripped to 
their flaps, painted black, with their guns and hatchets, and 
commenced the war-dance around the flag of the United States, 
in which they continued all night. During the time of the dance 
many of them shot balls through the flag, upon which "The 
Bloody Fellow" ordered them to quit, or he should do as he 
had done before — meaning that he would kill some of them — 
and the firing ceased. At night the war-dauce was moved to the 
town house, and was kept up till next morning. On the next 
day the whole party assembled at the Lookout Mountain town 
to the number of six hundred, of whom two hundred were se- 
lected for horsemen; and John Taylor was chosen to command 
them. There were at least two hundred good horses upon the 
ground, which had been stolen from the people of the United 
States. In the afternoon the plan of the attack was taken up, 
and it w-as determined to attack the Holston settlements in four 
divisions, of four hundred in each division, and to sweep the 
settlements as far as the big island of the Holston; and then to 
divide in smaller parties, going up the French Broad, and 
sw^eeping it to its head. The council then adjourned and went 
to the war-dauce, which they continued until next morning, 
painted black. 

On the fourth day after arriving at Wills Town the party met 
again at the Lookout Mountain town, and determined to attack 
Cuml^erland in four divisions, and to clear the country of all liv- 
ing people. Orders were given by Watts, Taylor, "The Glass," 
Talotiskee, Fool Charles (by some called Capt. Charley), and 
"The Breath" to procure provisions for the next day, and to be 
in readiness to start for war on the preceding day. About an 
hour and a half after the issuing of these orders intelligence 
was received that "The White Man Killer" had arrived in a ca- 
noe from Knoxville wath a quantity of whisky, at the mouth of 
Lookout Mountain Creek, distant from the Lookout Mountain 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 3G3 

town about fifteen miles. Men were immediately dispatched to 
brii;ig it to the town, and on its arrival every Indian betook him- 
self to the drinking of it, and wholly neglected the orders to 
provide for the war. 

On the fifth day after arriving at "Wills Town the party gen- 
erally lay drunk and stupid, and no public talk was held. They 
agreed that two persons, Dirogue and Fendleston, should be 
sent to Cumberland, and should return to them in ten days. 
Their business was, as the Indians intended, to get information 
at Nashville of the state of the country and of its means of de- 
fense, and to report the same to them, that so they might be the 
better enabled to judge at what points the attacks could be most 
successfully made. The Cherokees resolved to put Carey and 
ShaAv to death for giving information of their designs to Gov. 
Blount. It was agreed in council as a part of their plan to 
write to Gov. Blount and inform him that the rumor of war in 
the lower town arose from a few drunken young fellows, and 
that the heads who were for peace had stopped them. This was 
intended to counteract the consequences of the information given 
by Shaw and Carey, and "to throw the Governor off his guard. 
Watts w^as appointed to command the Creeks and Cherokees 
who should be called into the field and be for war. The Cher- 
okee nation met in council, and agreed to the appointment. 

Thus we see the train was laid and ready to explode, for the 
destruction of those who resided in the south-western territory 
and the people of Kentucky, who had been guilty of no other 
offense than that of concurring with the rest of the United 
States in the formation of a Constitution which excluded from 
its composition both aristocracy and monarchy, and was about 
to prove to the world that mankind could be happily governed 
without the assistance of either. For this offense only the En- 
glish on the one hand had stirred up the northern Indians 
against Kentucky; and the Spaniards, now upon the eve of be- 
coming their allies, had also prepared the Creeks and Cherokees 
to begin the work of death, and to harrow the people of Cum- 
berland with all the desolations that those united savages could 
bring upon them. 

On the 30th of August, 1792, after AVatts had returned from 
the conferences at Pensacola, the Governor invited him by a 
very polite letter to visit Knoxville, and to communicate the 

364 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

proposals which the Spaniards had made to the Creeks and 
Cherokees in the late conferences at Pensacola. To this letter 
he received no answer. He had written before this to the 
friendly chiefs of the Creeks and Cherokees, as he chose for the 
moment to suppose and call them, to be informed of the commn- 
nications which Panton had made to them in May, and of the 
intelligence they had received after the treaty of Pensacola from 
those who had been at it and returned. He received no satisfac- 
tory statements on these heads. By a letter dated in the Cherokee 
Nation, and sent from thence directly. Gov. Blount obtained in- 
formation that the five lower towns had resolved on war, and in- 
tended to march on the 8th of the month of September, and 
that the Spaniards had furnished them with ammunition, 
guns, hatchets, and knives. On the lltli of September his in- 
telligence became more circumstantial. He then obtained un- 
questionable evidence that the five lower towns had declared 
for war, and had sent out three hundred warriors to the settle- 
ments. Other accou]its stated them to be five hundred, with 
John Watts at their head. Pie immediately ordered into serv- 
ice a strong body of militia from the counties on the Holston, 
and by express dispatched to the District of Mero he apprised 
Gen. Robertson of the impending danger, requiring him forth- 
with to draw out part of the brigade in the counties of Cumber- 

Iji the meantime Derogue and Fendleston, pursuant to the 
instructions received from V/atts and the other leaders of the 
Cherokee army, had gone to Nashville to obtain the desired in- 
formation. The few Cherokees who attended the conferences 
at Nashville in August had, it is supposed, for their real object 
the discovery of the strength and situation of the country, with 
a view to the expedition they were then preparing against the 
Cumberland settlements, Imt had not gotten it as completely as 
was desired. Derogue, a Frenchman, had lived at Nashville 
with Capt. Demumbrane, another Frenchman, formerly a res- 
ident of Kaskaskias, who served in the Eevolutionary War as a 
captain under Gen. George Rogers Clark, with reputation, and 
who in all respects was a man of fair character. Derogue some 
time before had left Nashville, and had gone to New Orleans. 
Returning, he called on the Cherokees, and tarried with them 
some time. Richard Fendleston, a half-breed, had also become 

Haywood's histoky of Tennessee. 3G5 

acquainted with tlie settlers at Nashville. Their agreement 
with the Cherokees was that after obtaining the necessary knowl- 
edge of the circumstances in which the coiTutry was they should 
return and communicate it to them. They came to Nashville 
accordingly, but instead of mentioning to Capt. Demumbrane 
what they had promised the Cherokees to lay before him, they 
communicated to him the designs of the Cherokees and their in- 
tended irruption into the country with one thousand men, and 
that they might be expected at a certain day in the mouth of 
September. The intelligence was instantly given by Capt. De- 
mumbrane to the Cumberland settlement. 

Derogue gave his information to Gen. Robertson on the 15th 
of September, which the general caused to be reduced to writ- 
ing, and to be immediately transmitted by express to Gov. 
Blount. Derogue stated that he was a native of Canada, and 
came first to Canada in the employment of Mr. Fagot. On the 
15th of June Mr. Fagot, he said, left the Red River, and pro- 
ceeded down the Cumberland River. In his boat Derogue em- 
barked for New Orleans, as a laborer to row. On coming near 
Lans le Grace, Fagot told him and all his men to tell the same 
story to the commandant which he should — that the people 
of Cumberland and Kentucky were prej^aring to attack the 
Spanish settlements. The commandant at Lans le Grace gave 
Mr. Fagot a large packet for the Governor, the Baron de Ca- 
rondalet, at New Orleans, wdiich, when Mr. Fagot delivered, 
he told the same story of the hostile intentions of the people 
of the United States as he had to the commandant at Lans le 
Grace. The Spanish officers asked Derogue if it was true, to 
which he replied that he had no cause to question the verac- 
ity of Mr. Fagot. The Baron de Carondalet then told De- 
rogue that he had sent by McGillevray to inform the Creeks, 
Cherokees, and Choctaws that they must come to him to get 
arms and ammunition, but wished Derogue to go on the same 
errand, which he agreed to do. Richard Fendleston, a Chero- 
kee half-breed, who came down in the boat from Cumberland, 
he sent with him, and gave them passports. The Baron invited 
the Creeks by these two messengers to come to him and get 
arms and ammunition, and to go to war against the people of 
Cumberland and Holston. He said that the lands were theirs, and 
the property of no other people, and that he would furnish them 

SCO Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

with means to defend tliem; and lie advised them to be active 
and unanimous in going to war quickly. They went by water 
to Mobile, and thence to Pensacola, and thence to the Creeks 
by land. Between the two last-mentioned places they met 
three hundred Creeks, in different parties, going to Pensa- 
cola for arms and ammunition, as they said, to go to war with 
against the United States, and that by the directions of the 
Spanish officers. He heard Gov. Oneil, of Pensacola, say that 
he had orders to excite to war the Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, 
and Chickasaws, and that he doubted whether the latter would 
join. On arriving among the Creeks, he found them generally 
preparing for war, and they wore to set out as soon as their am- 
munition should arrive. He and Fendleston then came to Wills 
Town, of the Cherokees. About the 2d of September six hun- 
dred men were assembled, deliberating whether they should go 
to war with the people of Cumberland. The chiefs who were 
there w-ere unanimous for war, except "The Bloody Fellow," 
who opposed them. Derogue then told them that he was sent 
by the Governor of New Orleans to Mr. De Mumbray, who 
would inform him of the situation of the country and point out 
the most proper places to be attacked. He showed them the 
Governor's passports, and they suffered him to proceed. They 
were to wait ten days for his return, and no more. On his way 
to Cumberland he saw four Creeks, who told him that as soon 
as the ammunition should arrive from Pensacola, upward of one 
thousand of them would turn out to war against Cumberland 
and Holston, and that they would certainly be at Cumberland 
that moon. The Cherokees said that Mr. Shaw had given infor- 
mation to Gov. Blount; but that Watts, "The Glass," and some 
others of the hostile chiefs would write another letter to him, 
pretending friendship, to take off the bad effects of Shaw's let- 
ter, and to deceive the Governor. Fendleston's information con- 
curred with this, and stated all that had really occurred at the 
council, when they had resolved on war circumstantially. 

Soon after Gen. Robertson had sent off an ex]3ress with this 
communication, he received the one sent to himself by the Gov- 
ernor. He immediately raised the militia, leaving a few to keep 
up the different stations. He collected five hundred men, and 
placed them under the command of Col. Elijah Robertson, Col. 
Mansco, and Col. Winchester, and Capt. John Rains, two miles 


from Nashville. A troop of liorse, commanded by Col. Hays, 
was ordered to discover, if possible, at what point the Indians 
intended to make the meditated attack. Before the receipt of 
the dispatches from Gen. Robertson which apprised him of the 
deception which "The Bloody Fellow" and others were to prac- 
tice upon him, the Governor, on the 14th of September, received 
letters from "The Bloody Fellow," on whom he greatly relied, 
and from " The Glass," which stated that they had stopped the 
party from the lower towns and had turned them back, and 
that they were now for peace. Solicitous, if possible, to avoid 
the imputation which, in the miserly spirit of the times, was so 
often made from the seat of the general government, he instant- 
ly ordered all the troops which had been raised to be disbanded, 
and transmitted an order to that effect by express to Gen. Rob- 
ertson. Very shortly afterward he received the dispatches sent 
by the general, and was thereby notified of the fraud which 
"The Bloody Fellow" and others were to put upon him, and 
which he had reason to apprehend they had actually practiced 
upon him. To kis great mortification, on the 20th of September, 
he received a letter from "The Hanging Maw," who made him 
acquainted with what he had heard from John Boggs, which 
was that from the loth to the 17th of September the Creeks 
were passing the Tennessee at the Running Water, Nickajack, 
and at a place called the Creek crossing-place, about thirty miles 
below Nickajack, on their way to fall upon the Cumberland set- 
tlements; and that they were joined by from one to two hundred 
Cherokees, among whom was John Watts; that the Creeks had 
with them a great quantity of powder and lead, which they had 
received from the Spaniards; that the whole were to rendezvous 
at the place where the difierent paths came together on their 
way to Nashville, and to concert their measures of attack upon 
the Cumberland settlements; that while he was at the Lookout 
Mountain he was informed that Richard Fendleston and a 
Frenchman had passed from Pensacola to Nashville to obtain 
information of the true situation of the country, and were to re- 
turn in ten nights, and to report such as they could collect; that 
he found it to be generally understood in the lower towns, as well 
as the other parts of the nation, that such of the inhabitants of 
the five lower towns as did not want war had better leave them, 
and that such of the other towns as did wish for war ought to 

368 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

move into them; and that some of both parties were moving, 
so as to take the situation which best suited their wishes for 
war or peace. Boggs w^as a half-breed, well-known to many 
white people, and by all parties he was viewed as a man of ve- 

It was immediately perceived by the Governor that the narra- 
tive of Derogue and Fendleston was in the main a true one. 
The state of public afiairs, and its circumstantiality and consist- 
ency with the occurrence of events foretold by it, gained it cred- 
it; and, indeed, ever since it has not been in general doubted, 
though there are a few circumstances in it which are not imme- 
diately reconcilable with probability. 

Upon the receipt of this letter from "The Hanging Maw," 
the Governor instantly called the Holston militia to arms, and 
sent off an express with the like orders to Gen. Robertson, with 
respect to the militia, which it was apprehended he had dis- 
charged. This last order did not get to Cumberland in time. 
In the meantime Gen. Robertson kept together the troops 
which he had embodied. Abraham Castleman, one of the mi- 
litia soldiers, had withdrawn himself from the army for some 
days, and at length returned and stated that he had been as far 
as "The Black Fox's" camp, where he had seen the signs of a 
numerous army of Indians, and that they might shortly be ex- 
pected in the neighborhood of Nashville. The order for dismiss- 
al of the troops now came to hand; but Gen. Robertson, fearful 
lest the Governor might have been imposed on, concluded not to 
comply with the order immediately, but to wait a few days till 
he could see whether the Governor would not countermand this 
order after having received the statements made by Derogue. 
The general sent off Capt. Rains to ascertain the reality of tlie 
facts detailed by Castleman. Rains took with him a young 
man, Abraham Kennedy, and went to the place where Murf rees- 
borough now stands, and halted in the woods; and, remaining 
on the ground all night, he next day made a circuit around the 
spring where "The Black Fox's" camp was. "The Black Fox" 
was an Indian chief who formerly hunted and encamped at the 
spring not far from the spot where now is the site of Murfrees- 
borough. In this circuit he examined all the paths which led 
to the camp from the direction of the Cherokee country. Find- 
ing no trace of Indians, he ventured to the spring. He then re- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 369 

turned home by way of Buclianon's Station, and iuforined the 
people that the traces of an Indian army were nowhere to be 
seen. The last order of the Governor had not yet arrived. The 
unnecessary expenditure of public money was at this time an 
odious charge, and he did not wish to risk it upon responsibil- 
ity. It was concluded that the alarm was a false one, and the 
inhabitants were generally inclined to go home. The Indians 
had crossed the Tennessee at the times already mentioned. 
They must have delayed between that and "The Black Fox's " 
camp iipward of a fortnight for some purpose — either to decide 
in council upon wliat part of the Cumberland settlements to fall, 
or possibly waiting for the return of Derogue and Fendleston, 
to give the information which would enable them to proceed the 
most effectuall}". Soon after the return of Cai^t. Rains the 
troops were marched back to Nashville. 

Gen. Robertson did not think it prudent any longer to detain 
them against the express orders of the Governor. He discharged 
them, with directions to hold themselves ready to take the field 
at a moment's warning. This discharge took place on Friday, 
upon which occasion a sharp altercation took place between Gen. 
Robertson and Col. Robertson, the latter urging with much ve- 
hemence that the Indians would be upon the settlers in a few 
•days, and would by the discharge of the troops meet with no op- 
position; the former doubting, from the search made by his 
scouts, whether the alarm might not be a false one, and at the 
same time being unwilling to disobey orders and to accumulate 

Two other men, however, were sent off to reconnoiter the 
country through which the Indians were necessarily to pass in 
coming to Nashville. These were Jonathan Gee and Seward 
Clayton, who went on the Indian trace leading through the place 
where Murfreesborough now stands to Nashville, eight or ten 
miles from Buchanon's Station, toward the place where Mur- 
freesborough now stands. As they traveled along the path, 
talking loudly, they saw meeting them the advance of the Indian 
army, who called to them in English to know who they were, to 
which question without disguise they answered. Upon being 
asked in return who they were, they said they were spies from 
Gen. Robertson's Station, and were returning home. Both par- 
ties advanced till they came within a few steps of each other, 

370 Haywood's history of Tennessee. 

when the Indians fired and killed Gee dead in the road. They 
broke the arm of the other, who ran into the woods, but being 
pursued by a great number of them, they overtook and killed 
him also. Thence they marched, rank and file, in three lines 
abreast, with quick step, till they arrived at Buchanon's Station, 
where the people were wholly unapprised of their coming and 
did not expect it. This was on Sunday nest after the discharge 
of the troops, being the 30th of September. It was in the night- 
time, not far from midnight. One of the men, John McRory, 
lying in the block-house not far from the front gate, heard the 
cattle running by the fort from the east and south-east of the 
gate toward Nashville, and seeming to be in a state of great 
alarm, as they were always known to be when Indians were 
about. This alarmed him. He arose and looked toward the 
place whence they ran, and saw sixty Indians not more than a 
few feet from the gate of the fort and around the fort. He in- 
stantly fired through the port-hole and killed the chief leader 
of the Indians, who, on receiving the wound, immediately ex- 
pired. He was a Shawnee, and had quarreled with Watts, who 
insisted upon deferring the attack until day, and until after the 
garrison had dispersed to their various avocations. The whole 
garrison, consisting of nineteen men, flew to arms, and fired 
upon the Indians through the port-holes. The Indians, in 
turn, fired upon the fort. Capt. Hains was sent for. He and 
five other men went off in full gallop to Buchanon's Station, 
and arrived just in time to see the Indians leaving the planta- 
tion at the fort. They had lost some of their men. Some were 
found on the ground near the outside wall of the fort; others 
were carried off and buried in different places, and were after- 
ward found by the white people. During the whole time of the 
attack a large body of the Indians were never more distant than 
ten yards from the block-house, and often in large numbers close 
around the lower wall, shooting up through the over-jutting. 
They fired thirty balls through a port-hole of the over-jutting, 
which lodged in the roof, in the circumference of a hat. Those 
sticking on the outside of the wall were innumerable. On the 
:ground next morning there was much blood, and the signs that 
ithe dead had been dragged, as well as of litters having been 
made to carry the wounded to their horses, which they had left 
a mile from the station. Near the block-house were found sev- 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 371 

eral swords, liatcliets, pipes, kettles, and budgets of different In- 
dian articles. One of the swords was a fine Spanish blade, neat- 
ly mounted in the Spanish fashion — another proof of the friendly 
offices which the Spaniards had done for the western people. A 
handkerchief and moccasin were also found, one of which was 
known to have belonged to Gee and the other to Clayton. The 
party which attacked the station consisted of from four to five 
hundred Creeks, two hundred Cherokees, and thirty or forty 
Shawnees. Three were killed, and seven wounded. Of the 
killed, Tunbridge's step-son was left on the ground, the Shaw- 
nees' warrior was dragged off, and a chief of the Creeks was 
dragged off. Of the latter was John Watts, with a ball 
through one thigh, which lodged in the other, supposed to be 
dangerous; "The White Man Killer," "The Dragging Canoe's" 
brother, "The Owl's" son, a young man of the Lookout Mount- 
ain, a Creek warrior, who died, and a young warrior of the Run- 
ning AVater, who died. 

This Unacate, or "The White Man Killer," left Pensacola 
the day on which Watts arrived there. Making very little stay 
at his own house, he came on with his wife to Knoxville, and re- 
mained with Gov. Blount ten days, immediately preceding the 
time he set out with Watts for war. He ate and drank con- 
stantly at the Governor's table, was treated in the kindest man- 
ner, and made the strongest professions of friendship during 
his stay and at his departure. His visit had not even the color 
of business, nor could it ever be extracted from him what he had 
heard or seen at Pensacola. There were also sundry young 
Cherokee warriors with Watts, besides those who lived in the 
five lower towns — particularly John Walker and George Fields, 
two young half-breeds who had been raised among the white 
jjeople, and in whom every one who knew them had the utmost 
confidence. The former was quite a stripling, and apparently 
the best-natured youth that the Governor ever saw, for so he 
thought him. They acted as the advance spies to Watts's party, 
and decoyed and killed Gee andlClayton, The Cherokees said 
that many of the Creeks kept at such a distance from the sta- 
tion that they could hardly shoot a bullet to it. With Watts 
there were sixteen Cherokees from Hiwassee, one from Keuka, 
five from Connasauga, and one from Strington's. Hiwassee lay 
on the river of that name, forty miles south of Chota, and eighty 

372 Haywood's history of texnessek 

miles above tlie lower towns. "The Middle Striker" and "The 
Otter Lifter," two other signers of the treaty of Holston, were 
also leaders in this expedition. The latter, as late as July, 1792, 
gave the most unequivocal proofs of attachment to the United 
States, in going on board of the boats in which were the goods 
for the Chickasaw and Choctaw conference, and continuing with 
them till they had passed the lower towns, and in otherwise so 
conducting himself as to leave no reason to doubt that he would 
have defended them had they been attacked by hostile parties 
of his own or any other nation. His sudden change of conduct 
was charged by the western people to the intrigues of the Span- 
ish government. The Indians in this attack killed not a single 
man of the white people, and they returned precipitately to 
their own country. This was the last formidable invasion 
which the Cherokees ever made upon the Cumberland settle- 

When the Indians retired, Gen. Robertson hastily collected 
what troops he could, and pursued them to Hart's big spring, 
near Stewart's Creek. It was discovered that they marched out, 
as well as in, in three columns. The general's force not being 
more than one hundred and eighty men, and that of the enemy 
being greatly superior, and they having got far ahead, he deemed 
it most advisable to return home, which he did. 

The Indians, after their repulse at Buchanon's Station, sent 
runners to Pensacola to inquire when the Spaniards might be 
expected to co-operate with them. At this time the whole Creek 
and Cherokee nations were at war in reality, though a part of them 
affected to be at peace. The Governor had resorted to all the 
steps which could be taken to keep them at peace, and among 
others he had endeavored to alarm their fears; and to that end 
he caused the fact to be carefully made known to them that he 
had erected block-houses on the frontiers of the Cumberland 
and Holston settlements, and had placed garrisons in them of 
from twenty-five to one hundred men. But their eagerness for 
war could not be repressed. If othing but war carried on among 
them could make them willing for peace. 

On the 8th of November the Governor wrote to the chiefs of 
Estanaula, to be informed of the reasons why the Spaniards 
wished them to go to war. He put them in mind of the Span- 
ish cruelties in Mexico, and of their destroying and reducing to 

HAYTVOOD'S history of TENNESSEE. 373 

slavery whole nations o£ Indians; and he requested to know 
what kind of talks the Creeks had received from the Spaniards. 
But he did not derive from these sources much, if any, informa- 
tion. He stated to the Cherokee chiefs, on the 19th of Novem- 
ber, the number of horses which had been stolen by the Creeks, 
and had been carried through the upper Cherokee towns to the 
Creek country; and he declared to them that they should not 
have permitted the Creeks to have passed through their Nation, 
and should have taken their horses from them. If it be true 
that every one is spoken to with a degree of complacence pro- 
portioned precisely to the harm he can do, the Clierokees must 
have perceived from this address that their power to do harm 
to the Governor's people was now on the wane, and that ere- 
long they would be treated with the indifference and with the 
severity which their behavior deserved. 

As soon as Col. V/atts began to recover of his wounds, in De- 
cember, 1792, he expected a numerous party of Creeks, with 
which he meditated another blow upon the frontiers. The Cher- 
okee part of his force he appointed to be commanded by his un- 
cle, Talotiskee. But becoming mortified at the conduct of his 
countrymen, who had left him wounded in the wilderness, and 
at the failure of the Spanish and Creek succors which he ex- 
pected; and also, as is supposed, at the diminution of his fame 
in consequence of his late unsuccessful expedition against the 
people of Cumberland, he began to embrace pacific measures, 
and made overtures of peace to Gov. Blount. This inclination 
was promoted, no doubt, by another event. The Baron de Ca- 
rondalet, the Spanish Governor at Orleans, on the 24th of No- 
vember, 1792, had written to the Clierokees, in conformity, it is 
believed, to recent instructions from Spain. He was greatly af- 
flicted at the losses and misfortunes of their nation, which he 
had heard of by a deputation from them, of which " The Bloody 
Fellow" was one. He promised the intermediation of the King 
of Spain between the southern and northern Indians, their al- 
lies on the one side, and the United States on the other. He 
wished to keep from them in future the miseries of war. He 
advised a suspension of all hostility against the United States, 
keeping themselves within their lands on the defensive, while 
the great king should treat of peace between them and the 
Americans, and should obtain from the latter the lands neces- 


sary for the habitation of tlie former, with a demarkatioii of lim- 
its which would leave do room for future contest. He called 
for the extent of their limits, and also of those of the North- 
ern, that the whole might be made known to the king, his mas- 
ter. A Spanish recommendation, whether for war or peace, had 
the force of a command which could not be disobeyed. Watts, 
in order to prove his sincerity, sent intercessors to the Governor, 
who arrived at Knoxville on the 5th of January, 1793, who gave 
very confirmatory assurances of Watts's sincere desire for peace; 
and on Tuesday, the 15th, they returned to their homes in the 
Cherokee country, under an escort. 

In the fall of this year the calamities brought upon the peo- 
ple by Indian warfare were general, excessive, and intolerable. 
But, strange as it may seem, the government of the United 
States was as yet unaffected by their sufferings; and Gov. Blount 
was obliged to vindicate them from the imputation that their 
conduct must have afforded some pretext for the enmity of the 
Indians against the Cumberland settlements, and at the same 
time to vindicate himself from the charge of unnecessary ex- 
penditures by calling into service more troops than the public 
exigencies made requisite. He informed the Secretary of War 
that the Cherokees, before and at the commencement of our Eev- 
olution, were settled in towns on the head waters of the Savan- 
nah, the Keowee, and the Tugulo, or on the Tennessee above the 
mouth of the Holston, upon the tract of country which at this 
time comprehends Elbert and Franklin Counties in Georgia, 
several of the western counties of South Carolina, the District 
of Washington in the south-western territory, and part of the 
District of Washington in the State of Tirgiuia. The remain- 
der of their territory was down the Tennessee on the south side. 
The lands on the Cumberland they considered not theirs. Gen. 
AVilliamson, in 1776, destroyed their towns on the Keowee and 
Tugulo. Gen. Paitherford, from North Carolina, and CoL Chris- 
tian, from Virginia, destroyed most of their principal towns on 
the Tennessee. In two treaties, held shortly afterward, they 
ceded large tracts of territory to South Carolina and Virginia, 
and to North Carolina and Virginia also. Burned out and cur- 
tailed of their hunting-grounds, they began to erect new towns 
on the Tennessee, lower down, and on the Mobile Pviver. Some 
settled on the Chiccamauga Creek, a hundred miles below the 


moutli of tlie Holston. These refused to attend the treaties, 
and all the mischief done was charged by the other parts upon 

In 1782 they abandoned the Chiccamauga. Some returned 
to the old towns, and others went below to the distance of forty 
miles, and laid the foundations of five towns, since called the 
five lower towns, which soon became populous and the most 
formidable part of the nation. These removals brought them 
near to the Cumberland lands, and they now began to wish for 
the possession of them; though before the Eevolutiou these 
lands belonged not to them, but to the Chickasaws. The nation 
of the latter, or a greater part of it, prior to the Revolution, re- 
sided on the north side of the Tennessee, forty miles lower down 
than the lowermost of the present Cherokee towns. They ceded 
these lands at a treaty held on the spot where Nashville now 
stands, in 1782, under the authority of Virginia, by Donalson 
and Martin. They did the same at the treaty of Hopewell, as 
likewise did the Cherokees; and they declared to the like effect 
at the late conferences held at Nashville, in the presence of the 
Cherokees, who did not contradict them. The Cherokees after- 
ward admitted in council that what they said was correct. 
A Cherokee chief, at the Long Island of the Holston, said to 
CoL Henderson: "You, Carolina Dick, have deceived your peo- 
ple. You told them that we sold you the Cumberland lands. 
AVe only sold you our claim. They belong to our brothers, the 
Chickasaws, as far as the head waters of Duck and Elk Riv- 
ers." The northern nations claimed and ceded the Cumberland 
lands, with others, to the crown of Great Britain. The chiefs, 
to avoid becoming unpopular with the young warriors, often 
deny, when the complaint is made, that they have sold the lands 
of the nation; or if they acknowledge it, they say that they were 
imposed upon, which according to Indian ideas rescinds the 
As to the Creeks, they have unquestionably no claim to the 
Cumberland lands, nor to any lands north of the Tennessee, 
and never had. Since the treaty of New York they have killed 
indiscriminately all the people in the Cumberland settlements 
whom they could bring within their reach. The Cherokees, or 
any joart of the nation, have never complained of the Cumberland 
settlers. He then showed that the number of militia called 


into service, at the appi'oaching invasion of seven liuudred 
Creeks and Cherokees under Watts, was not a greater number 
(eight hundred and fifty) than the occasion called for; and that 
they were not continued in service beyond the time that neces- 
sity required. He stated to the Secretary the very exposed sit- 
uation of the District of Mero, and the execration that would 
have fallen both upon himself and the government of the United 
States had he not resorted to those measures of defense and 
protection which their circumstances demanded, and had the In- 
dians been permitted to fall upon them in a defenseless and ex- 
posed state. The Governor made his vindication with a spirit 
and ability which entitled him to the gratitude and admiration 
of his countrymen. 

The events which followed in rapid succession the dismissal 
of the troops under the command of Gen. Sevier j^roved the 
correctness of his views, and tliat the rigid economy of the Fed- 
eral government was alike incompatible with the safety of the 
frontier settlements and with the saving which was expected to 
arise from the measure. If the prolonged detainment of a few 
dollars in the treasury was an object of greater moment than 
the salvation of the frontier j^eople from the scalping-knife of 
the Indiaiis, still it was a measure which, in the end, precipitated 
those dollars from its coffers with accumulated profusion. Even 
in this point of view it must be deemed to have been founded 
upon bad arithmetical calculations. The Spanish government, 
at the same time that it kindled the flames of war amongst the 
Creeks and Cherokees, was no less diligent in the use of means 
to attach to itself the good-will of the Choctaws and Chickasaws 
in order to employ it when convenient to the annoyance of the 
people of Cumberland. Gayoso, the Spanish Governor at Natch- 
ez, had, in 1790, made a treaty with those nations, and had ob- 
tained by cession a portion of country which encompasses the 
Walnut Hills. Toward the beginning of this year (1792) he 
held another treaty with them at Natchez, at which was only 
the Spanish party of the Choctaw nation. He obtained from 
them permission for the Spaniards to continue the New Fort at 
the Walnut Hills, near the mouth of the Yazoo. The chiefs 
declared to the nation that they had sold him no lands. Even 
this concession, which they admitted they had made, gave so 
much offense to the young warriors of the nation that they 

Haywood's history of Tennessee. 377 

threatened to put to death the chiefs who had been present at 
the treaty. But the truth is tliat Gov. Gayoso obtained from 
them the relinquishment of a large tract of country, beginning 
at the mouth of the Yazoo; thence ten miles up it; thence south- 
east to a river which empties into Lake Pont Chartraiu (called 
Medway), and down that river. The Chickasaws who attended 
the conferences, at Nashville, in August, 1792, declared that the 
Spaniards were urging the Creeks to war with the United States. 
At this time Gov. Blount was not unapprehensive of the objects 
which the Spaniards had in view, by an intercourse of so much 
frequency, nor was he inattentive to the employment of meas- 
ures for their detection. A man by the name of Alexander 
Douglass had been recommended to him by Gen. Pickens. He 
was a Scotchman, and therefore could gain admittance